by Oliver Lane
Germany has declared Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro safe countries
today, making it less likely asylum applications from Balkan will be
accepted, and easier for the country to expel individuals with rejected
The change heralds a shift in attitude towards the migration problem
in Germany, which has been totally overwhelmed by the sheer volume of
people traveling to the country, attracted by generous handouts and open
door policy. Europeans from the Balkans will now be discriminated
against in asylum applications in favour of Syrians, to whom the door
Germany is also to change the means by which it will pay benefits to
migrants, moving away from the giving of cash to benefits in kind – the
direct distribution of food and shelter. Presently between 8,000 and
10,000 new migrants arriving in Germany every day.
Germany’s Der Speigel reports today
the proportions of newcomers arriving to Germany, which yields some
interesting results. While Syria is the largest group, accounting for
nearly a quarter of all arrivals on their own, the Balkan states account
for some 40-per-cent. Whether Germany’s redefinition of these nations
as safe will discourage migrants from coming, and whether they will be
deported will be a great test of resolve.
Germany’s open-door policy to Syrians has sparked clashes with some
eastern EU member states, in particular Hungary, which has adopted the
opposite strategy, sealing its borders to migrants.
Croatia also lashed out on Thursday at Budapest’s handling of
migrants as “totally unacceptable” while Prime Minister Viktor Orban was
preparing to defend his hard line at the UN General Assembly
“They (Hungary) are considering closing border crossings. But how
will they stop people? Shoot at them? Deploy the army?” said Croatian
Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic.