Monday, February 15, 2016

AP: Anti-migrant force builds in Europe, hurting Merkel's [mad as a hatter] quest

This image seems extra symbolic because 'Mama Merkel' looks like a halfwit standing next to Mr. Smooth Mohammed.

PRAGUE (AP) — So where should the next impenetrable razor-wire border fence in Europe be built?
Hungary's right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban thinks he knows the best place — on Macedonia's and Bulgaria's borders with Greece — smack along the main immigration route from the Middle East to Western Europe. He says it's necessary because "Greece can't defend Europe from the south" against the large numbers of refugees pouring in, mainly from Syria and Iraq.
The plan is especially controversial because it effectively means eliminating Greece from the Schengen zone, Europe's 26-nation passport-free travel region that is considered one of the European Union's most cherished achievements.
Orban's plan featured prominently Monday at a meeting in Prague of leaders from four nations in an informal gathering known as the Visegrad group: Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The Visegrad group, formed 25 years ago to further the nations' European integration, is marking that anniversary Monday. Still, it has only recently found a common purpose in its unified opposition to accepting any significant number of migrants.
This determination has emboldened the group, one of the new mini-blocs emerging lately in Europe due to the continent's chaotic, inadequate response to its largest migration crisis since World War II. The Visegrad group is also becoming a force that threatens the plans of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who wants to resettle newcomers across the continent while also slowing down the influx.
"The plan to build a new "European defense line" along the border of Bulgaria and Macedonia with Greece is a major foreign policy initiative for the Visegrad Four and an attempt to re-establish itself as a notable political force within the EU," said Vit Dostal, an analyst with the Association for International Affairs, a Prague-based think tank. ...