BOTH the refugee crisis and Daesh terrorism have brought the Schengen system to the brink
WITH some refugees placed in homes ‘branded’ with red doors that have made them targets for racists in Middlesbrough and others forced, until recently, to wear red wristbands in Wales, we might be forgiven for overlooking what’s happening in Europe.
Namely, the threat to seal Greece off from the rest of the EU, and suspend it from the Schengen passport-free area within three months for “seriously neglecting” its borders during the migrant crisis last year, according to the European Commission.
This, together with EU states extending and prolonging national border controls/roadblocks for up to two years, is a serious blow to the Schengen system, which is regarded as a cornerstone of the EU.
But both the refugee crisis and Daesh terrorism have brought the system to the brink and it’s anyone’s guess where it’ll all end. One thing’s for sure, though. On the cutting edge of the migration influx, 850,000 migrants crossed Greece last year, Greece is infuriated at being ‘scapegoated’ by the rest of the EU, and fears the potential effects of being expelled from Schengen.
Now, this unprecedented move isn’t the failure of one person, Mrs Merkel, but an entire system of eurocrats who have never been faced with problems on this scale.
The Greek financial crisis was dealt with badly, the situation in Ukraine was, in effect, never dealt with at all, and Russia simply seems to be able to act with impunity.
It was likely to happen sooner or later and fairly ironic that the open-arms gesture ‘all are welcome’ is now coming full circle by closing borders, erecting barbed-wire fences, and getting back at Greece with a vengeance.
The EU’s problem is each government is elected ‘nationally’, each party offers what’s in the best interests of its own citizens, or it won’t get any votes.
Once elected, these governments then invariably start telling their citizens what’s best for them. However, when the going gets tough, as now, they’ll do whatever’s necessary to remain in power, and if that means tearing up the EU rule book, so be it!
One thing I AM very clear about in all this is nobody’s got a clue what to do next…
Nora Johnson’s thrillers ‘Landscape of Lies’, ‘Retribution’, ‘Soul Stealer’, ‘The De Clerambault Code’ (www.nora-johnson.com) available from Amazon in paperback/eBook (€0.89;£0.79) and iBookstore. All profits to Cudeca charity.