But Hungary isn't the only country to close its borders and tighten up security measures in the past few days. The Schengen system of open borders between EU nations seems to be falling apart.
Germany, which has willingly received the bulk of the refugees so far, stepped up their border controls this week, halting trains from Austria and stationing more police on their border with Austria. Slovakia (which has said it only wants Christian refugees - they have no mosques, apparently) has done the same on their borders with Hungary and Austria. Austria in turn sent the army to its borders. Hungary had done the same, with authorities planning to arrest and jail anyone entering the country illegally. Police in riot gear blocked the main railway track used by migrants. Hungarian police detained 9 Syrians and 7 Afghans, accused of 'breaching' the new razor-wire barrier. The government has made a decision to declare a crisis in the south of the country because of the 'problem'. Finland plans to increase its border monitoring; along with the Czech Republic and Poland, too.
Today, Tuesday, after the detentions in Hungary, migrants have begun a sit-down hunger strike.
On Monday, the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council met to discuss 'temporary' border controls and a limit to the number of refugees the EU would accept. France and Germany coordinated the proposed solution, to be finalized on October 8: a set number of refugees (120,000) who would be distributed among all EU countries. The EU has also approved the use of military action against vessels out of Libya, in order to break up human smuggling networks operating from there.
At the same time, the French Interior Ministry suggested the following:
EU's Frontex agency, which is in charge of European border management, should be granted the right to send economic migrants back to their home countries, without providing them with asylum rights... Frontex officials should also be provided with arms to fulfill such duties, French minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on the sidelines of emergency meeting in Brussels, as cited by TASS.Country-specific quotas have yet to be agreed upon.
In the 1800s one could travel from Paris to St. Petersburg without a single border check or visa. Things have changed since then of course, worldwide. But the EU has fairly strictly maintained its own internal policy of open borders between EU nations. Now that is changing. There are plausible reasons of course: language barriers, cultural differences, racism, divergent income systems that drive populations from poorer countries to wealthier ones. But there's more going on. Border control not only prevents 'undesirables' from getting in; they stop people from getting out. Nazi Germany did the same thing. The more paranoid and psychopathic the people calling the shots, the fewer freedoms enjoyed by the people.
In just two weeks, after the refugee crisis really started dominating the news, a clear pattern has emerged. First there is the 'problem': a humanitarian crisis that can provoke any number of 'reactions': e.g. tugging the heartstrings of ordinary citizens with a conscience (and who may not be politically aware enough to question what's really going on). Germany has been making use of the opportunity for some good PR by taking the lead in welcoming refugees and criticizing other EU states about their lackluster, and sometimes rather openly racist, response.
But now we're seeing a hint at some of the 'solutions' on the table: closed borders, detentions, a justification for a souped up war in Syria. We're only a step or two away from even more radical 'solutions': What to do with all these refugees in need of shelter? Well,
As I wrote last week, there's also the potential of more deliberately created 'problems' unfolding from the situation. Germany seems to be breaking the mold, and if recent reports can be trusted, may be moving away from the U.S. and aligning with Russia in its stance on Syria, even considering joining a Russian-proposed anti-ISIS coalition. You can almost hear the blood pressure spiking in the US State Dept. So it's a very simple matter to stage a minor false-flag in the country, ignite the media storm, and stoke the fires of public fear and indignation that will have the people clamoring for getting rid of the problem by whatever means necessary. It's all happened before, and it can all happen again.