Austria tells Merkel, 'We are not a migrant waiting room'

The Austrian government erupted against German Chancellor Angelea Merkel and her "open arms" policy toward migrants, saying that Austria had become Germany's "waiting room" as tens of thousands of refugees streamed across its border.

Daily Express:

Hans Peter Doskizil claims the beleaguered German chancellor's "welcoming" stance on refugees fleeing the Middle East is creating a new "attraction factor" for those hoping to relocate to Europe.

Mrs Merkel's open door policy was persuading thousands of migrants to try and cross Austria in the belief they will be welcomed in Germany, he said.

But he accused EU superpowers of “burying their head in the sand” and called for a "summit on deportation". 

In an interview with Austria's Krone newspaper, Mr Doskozil said: "It is a mystery to me why the right lessons have not been learned from the events of 2015."

As many as 1.5 million refugees entered Germany last year, carried in on a wave of euphoria by residents holding  "Refugees Welcome" banners as the they arrived in the country. 

But the public mood has shifted drastically since then, after events such as the mass sex attacks in Cologne on New Year's Eve and a Syrian migrant blowing himself up at a music festival near Ansbach. 

Optimism has been replaced by suspicion and anger, with regular reports of arson attacks on refugee shelters and a new wave of Neo-Nazism spreading across the nation. 

Mrs Merkel, who has repeatedly addressed the crisis with the mantra "we can do it", has seen her popularity nose-dive in the polls.

The anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany (AfD) is expected to make a strong showing at next months state elections, while a YouGov poll this month found 66 per cent of German's disagreed with the chancellor's boast. 

EU governments are now divided between Germany, France, and a few others who want the refugee flow to continue and Austria and most of Eastern Europe who want the migration to be severely curtailed. 

As far as the European population of ordinary people, they will make their feelings known at the ballot box where there have already been advances made by nationalist parties.

As for Chancellor Merkel, more than half the voters don't want her to run for a 4th term and her party is likely to get a shellacking at the polls next month. But the damage has already been done and Germany will be paying for this policy for decades to come.


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