Germany has indicated that it may introduce controls along its borders with France and Switzerland after the Socialist-led Spanish government accepted thousands of migrants, with Germany fearing a fresh migrant wave.
German Secretary of State for Migration Helmut Teichmann said that the federal interior ministry is concerned by the number of migrants arriving in Spain, saying: “We fear that many migrants could make their way to France, the Benelux countries and Germany.”
More than 22,800 migrants have arrived on Spain’s shores from North Africa travelling along the western Mediterranean route since January — up 350 percent on last year.
Conversely, the number of migrants to Italy from North Africa via the central Mediterranean route has declined by 80 percent, after the populist government imposed a policy of refusing to disembark migrant boats on Italy’s shores.
Spain’s conservative government collapsed in June resulting in the Socialists taking power which quickly offered to take the migrant boats turned away by Italy, with Spanish police sources indicating that at least 50,000 sub-Saharan Africans are in Morocco waiting to head to Spain.The new far-left government has vowed to dismantle razorwire fencing along the borders between its North African enclaves Ceuta and Melilla and Morocco, leaving them vulnerable to uncontrolled mass migration. Once a migrant steps foot on Spanish territory, they have technically entered the European Union and are free to claim asylum and move unrestricted across the Schengen Free Movement zone.
However, Spain has been unprepared for the uptake of its generosity, kicking out students from their accommodation to house boat migrants rejected by Italy, with authorities announcing Friday that it is setting up a central operational command for migrant management.
More than one million migrants travelled along the Balkan route from via Greece to Germany during the 2015 migrant crisis after Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel unilaterally opened the borders of Europe.
Merkel’s government and the German people have been paying the price for that decision with the coalition government showing record-low public approval and the country experiencing waves of terror attacks, a rise in crime, and pressures on social services.
Once the eastern Mediterranean migrant route was closed, migrants shifted their focus from landing in Greece to Italy, with nearly 120,000 migrants arriving by sea from Libya in 2017.
Dissatisfied with the centrist government’s handling of the migrant crisis, Italians took to the polls in March 2018 and voted in the right-wing League Party and populist Five Star Movement which formed a populist coalition after campaigning on a platform to deport migrants and secure the country’s borders.