European Border Controls Return; Is the Schengen Free Movement Treaty Dead?
The Schengen Agreement represents a territory in Europe where the free movement of persons is guaranteed. 26 nations signed the treaty.
The signatory nations abolished internal borders in lieu of a single external border. Common rules and procedures apply to visas, asylum requests and border controls.
The treaty has been under pressure with a huge wave of migrants pouring into Germany, Sweden, Hungary, Italy, and Greece from Syria and other countries.
Last week I noted Denmark Cancels All Trains From Germany.
Today, reader Olivier pinged me with this comment "An Austrian rail company spokesman said trains from Austria to Germany have stopped running."
Confirmation comes from Spiegel article Stopped Trains from Austria to Germany: Refugee Crisis. Trains were not stopped heading the other direction.
"Temporarily" Halted Trains
The above train information from http://fahrplan.oebb.at/bin/help.exe/dn?tpl=showmap_external
Border Controls Return
Supposedly this is a "temporary" measure until border controls can be reinstated.
Olivier offered this opinion: "I am afraid the Schengen Treaty is dead ("lettre morte", as they say in French). Speaking for myself that was one of the more tangible benefits of the European construction. If that is no more, it's one less reason to hang on to the EU."
Definition of Temporary
Temporary did not last long. A couple hours later the Guardian reported: Germany Reinstates Controls at Austrian Border.
Germany introduced border controls on Sunday, and dramatically halted all train traffic with Austria, after the country's regions said they could no longer cope with the overwhelming number of refugees entering the country.
Interior minister, Thomas de Maizière, announced the measures after German officials said record numbers of refugees, most of them from Syria, had stretched the system to breaking point. "This step has become necessary," he told a press conference in Berlin, adding it would cause disruption.
Asylum seekers must understand "they cannot chose the states where they are seeking protection," he told reporters.
All trains between Austria and Bavaria, the principal conduit through which 450,000 refugees have arrived in Germany this year, ceased at 5pm Berlin time. Only EU citizens and others with valid documents would be allowed to pass through Germany's borders, de Maizière said.
The decision means that Germany has effectively exited temporarily from the Schengen system. It is likely to lead to chaotic scenes on the Austrian-German border, as tens of thousands of refugees try to enter Germany by any means possible and set up camp next to it.
The move comes amid extraordinary scenes at Munich's main train station over the weekend and a growing backlash inside Germany over the decision last week by Merkel, to allow unregistered refugees to enter the country. The numbers exceeded all expectations.
On Saturday, 13,015 refugees arrived at the station on trains from Austria. Another 1,400 came on Sunday morning. The city's mayor, Dieter Reiter, said Munich was "full", with its capacities completely exhausted. Some refugees slept on the station concourse on Saturday night.
Numbers Exceed All Expectations
The only expectations that were exceeded were the expectations of complete economic illiterates. I predicted this well in advance as did anyone else with so much as an ounce of common sense.
EC president Jean-Claude Juncker and Keynesian fools who stated immigration would pay for itself are on top of the list of illiterates.
Maizière said Germany had reintroduced border controls for reasons of security but added pointedly that they were also "a signal to Europe".
Germany, Austria and France support Juncker's proposal which would see 160,000 asylum seekers shared out across all 28 EU states. The refugees would be allocated to each country on the basis of its size and wealth.
There has been implacable opposition from other EU states including Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland and Romania. On Sunday, the Czech prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, said: "I think it is impossible to retreat. Our position is firm."
Budapest is racing to complete a fence on its border with Serbia, where 4,330 people crossed on Saturday. On Tuesday, it introduces tough laws which make crossing the border punishable with jail.
Greek authorities said on Sunday that 28 people drowned, half of them children, when their wooden smuggling boat capsized in the Aegean sea. The incident happened before dawn off the Greek island of Farmakonisi. The Greek coastguard pulled 68 people out of the water. Another 30 managed to swim to land.
The CSU, the Bavarian sister party to Merkel's Christian Democrat CDU, has accused the chancellor of making an "unparalleled historical mistake" in opening Germany's borders. On Sunday, Christoph Hillenband, the president of Upper Bavaria, said the system for dealing with refugees was close to collapse, with 63,000 people arriving in Munich since late August.
As I have stated on numerous occasions: "There is an unlimited demand for free services, free food, and free shelter." Recent drownings, passport theft, and passport forgery is proof enough.
Upping quotas as Merkel proposes is not the answer, because as we have seen, numbers will easily surpass expectations.