"Now everyone in Europe is talking about 'the Cologne atmosphere' "
January 8, 2015
Sputnik [discusses article in The National Interest, a U.S. publication]
Currently, the big political parties in Germany are all at odds about how to deal with the migrant issue. The Christian Social Union, coalition partner of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, wants a cap for the number of immigrants, compulsory integration for refugees and protections of borders. The CDU calls to protect the borders more effectively and to combat the sources of the migrant influx.
Meanwhile, the Social Democrats are warning the conservatives against panic, but do not offer a solution instead.
Merkel is continuing to proclaim her famous "We can do this" but is convincing fewer and fewer Germans that she will, the author wrote.
"Capping all the nonsense is the constant refrain of all the parties that a European solution is imperative, when they all know it will never happen," the article read.
The journalist underscored that Germany cannot find any real support for its migrant policy in Europe. In 2015, the country accepted 1.1 million migrants. Its partners have been demonstratively distancing themselves from Berlin. The tendency has become even more pronounced following the recent events in the city of Cologne where dozens of German women were sexually assaulted by a thousand of North African and Arab men.
"Now everyone in Europe is talking about 'the Cologne atmosphere,' which they would prefer to avoid," the author underscored.
The debate in Germany is being intensified by those who have to enforce the government’s wishy-washy migrant policy. The police are sounding alarms because they are understaffed. Educators are sounding alarms because there are not enough instructors for introductory courses for immigrants. Towns are sounding alarms as they have run out of room to accept more refugees.
The result is the nearing collapse of the Schengen system, and the growing public anger toward asylum seekers in many European countries, the article read.
"But a return to the cozy pre-refugee era is out of the question. The refugees are here. They have to be integrated. But the way forward is shrouded in fog. At the same time, sober discussion of the problem is impossible. The moral and political faction that represents what might be called Germany’s 'welcome culture' rigorously throttles any attempt to discern a connection between refugees and the danger of Islamic terror," Lehming wrote.
Meanwhile, the critics of the existing refugee policy are not represented by any party in parliament, he added. But they are announcing themselves with increasing vigor in the media and in opinion polls.
According to a poll by the Allensbach Institute, nearly 50 percent of Germans are afraid of voicing their opinion of the refugee crisis. The author noted that this could be regarded as suppression of the truth about the problem.
"Is suppression at play here? That would revive a nasty theme in German history. After the Second World War, the crimes of the Third Reich were suppressed. During the Cold War, many did not want to acknowledge the crimes of the Communists. Are Germans now suppressing what awaits their country thanks to the high number of immigrants?" he wrote.