Germany Lost Control of the Refugee Crisis?

March 7, 2016 Updated: July 9, 2020

Germany will manage to cope with the migration crisis, keeping a balanced and deficit-free budget without taking on new debt, Chancellor Angela Merkel said in an interview with the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

According to her, all concerns about new state debts are “totally unfounded.” However, more and more people are expressing their disagreement with the German government’s migration policy from day to day. Current opinion polls show that more than 80 percent of Germans think Merkel’s government has “lost control” of the refugee crisis, according to the Independent.

Merkel’s policy has brought serious dissent in German society and has become a subject of sharp criticism both from the opposition and the allies in the ruling coalition. For instance, Bavarian Governor Horst Seehofer says that “the country is divided” and “Europe is stressed and disunited.”

The funds allocated to cope with the refugees’ influx have gone beyond all limits. A new study by the Cologne Institute for Economic Research says the German government will have to spend 50 billion euros on refugees over the course of this year and the next.

Some Germans are displeased by the fact that Berlin has managed to achieve the balanced budget within several years by gradually limiting social benefits and increasing taxes. And now the money saved will be spent on migrants and financial help to the countries that can’t cope with the crisis by themselves.

One by one the European states are temporarily suspending the Schengen agreement on open borders due to the unbalanced German policy. Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann said the EU external borders are not secured enough. “Anyone who arrives at our border is subject to control,” Faymann said, adding that economic migrants should go home.

So, Angela Merkel’s migration policy has brought dissent in the EU. Against the backdrop of the economic crisis of recent years, unilateral actions of European member-states may only strengthen the positions of Euroskeptics, accelerate the disintegration process, and put the whole EU in question in the near future.

George Koplan is a researcher on global politics at the National University of Ireland.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.