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Margaritis Schinas; Horst Seehofer. Photos: Wikipedia
Berlin

German Interior Minister warns of new migrant wave similar to 2015

German Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) has warned of a major refugee crisis similar to that of 2015 if Germany does not help to control the EU's borders. But The EU's new Commissioners are undaunted.

Published: October 7, 2019, 8:15 am

    “We need to do more to help our European partners with controls at the EU’s external borders. We left them alone too long. If we do not, we will see a wave of refugees like in 2015 – maybe even more than four years ago,” Seehofer told German weekly Bild am Sonntag.

    Furthermore, the CSU politician emphasized that if the EU did not have the strength to solve the problem of the rising numbers of migrants, they will experience a loss of control as they did four years ago. Recently an increased number of migrants have been arriving in Greece again. According to the UN refugee agency, there were about 36 000 people by mid-September.

    Seehofer repeatedly campaigned for a common European asylum policy and on Sunday he defended his announcement on public television ARD’s Tagesschau to accept every fourth migrant rescued in the Mediterranean Sea in Germany.

    “If we had a common European asylum policy, Germany would have to absorb about 22 percent of the asylum seekers in the case of a distribution. In the past few months, therefore, we have practically not moved away from what would have been our obligation anyway.”

    The European Parliament is expected to vote on 23 October on the new Commission and perhaps Seehofer is expecting pressure from Brussels on the issue of immigration.

    The role of the Greek Commissioner designate Margaritis Schinas – Jean-Claude Juncker’s long-time spokesperson – covers the areas of migration, security, the labor market and education.

    While there are several shaky candidates who are accused of corruption in their own countries, such as Didier Reynders from Belgium and Sylvie Goulard from France, the biggest controversy was not triggered by corruption but by the title presented by Margaritis Schinas’ ministry: “Protecting our European way of life.”

    Political groups of the Left, Greens, Liberals and Social Democrats in the European Parliament rejected the term “Protecting our European way of life” as a linguistic proximity to “right-wing extremists” and complained that the title sounded like a foreclosure.

    “The first abomination of the Commission,” wrote the French European politician Damien Careme of the Greens. “It looks nice, but when you realize it’s about migration, integration, and security, it’s just disgusting.”

    The German Co-Chair of the Green/European Free Alliance (EFA) Group, Ska Keller, said: “We hope that Ursula von der Leyen sees no contradiction between the support of refugees and European values.” Her Belgian colleague Philippe Lambert agreed and spoke of an “absolute scandal”.

    The environmental NGO Friends of the Earth denounced the name of the portfolio and wrote on Twitter that “the idea that Europeans must be protected from external cultures is fascist thinking, and that should not be combined with migration policy.” Thus, ironically even the globalist establishment figure of Ursula von der Leyen is suspected of populism.

    On 3 October, the questioning of Commissioner designate Margaritis Schinas took place in the European Parliament. Most of the questions were, as expected, in response to the title of the ministry.

    He defended the title. His message was that populists and extremists should feel intimidated by his kind of values, not the EU. Otherwise, he wants to work out a new migration and asylum pact and the opening of hearts and homes for less fortunate ones.

    Last week, on Thursday, MEPs voted by a large majority in favor of Margaritis Schinas, the Greek nominee to be Commission vice president.

    In terms of migration, Schinas will be working closely with the designated Commissioner for Home Affairs and Migration, the Swedish Commissioner Ylva Johansson, who is also responsible for a new “Pact on Migration and Asylum” and for the border management agency Frontex and the Asylum Office EASO.

    In 1994 she joined the Social Democrats, and most recently she was Minister of Labour and Integration in Sweden.

    Ylva Johansson became famous in 2017 through an interview with the BBC, in which she said that the number of women exposed to sex crimes “sinks and sinks and sinks”. The background was Donald Trump’s statements about what was happening to women in Sweden as a result of immigration.

    According to Johansson: “We see no connection between crime and immigration. We have been an immigration nation for 20 years, we have received many immigrants in Sweden and crime has decreased over the same period, “she told the BBC. “Comparing Sweden with most other countries, there is very little crime and fatal violent crime. When we conduct surveys on how many women have been raped or sexually abused, we find that levels are sinking and sinking and sinking.”

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