Do the Crime You Pay the Fine – Merkel Talks Tough After Cologne Sex Attacks
German Chancellor Angela Merkel finds herself between a rock and a hard place. After letting in 1.1 million migrants in 2015 with her open door policy for Syrian and Mideast refugees, she is now facing a backlash at home. The events in question of course are the sex attacks that took place in Cologne recently and the angry public outcry that erupted soon thereafter. Merkel continues to defend her open door policy for Syrian refugees, but she believes that laws should be toughened against those who break the law in Germany. And of course, by toughened she means that offenders should be deported back to their countries of origin. She is of the opinion that the requirements for deportation should be relaxed to a degree and that any migrant committing a serious crime should be subject to expedited deportation.
Public Outcry After Cologne Attacks
Recently a series of vicious sex attacks was committed by men of Middle Eastern and African origin, and the reaction in Germany has been extremely vocal. According to the law, those seeking asylum in Germany will face deportation if they are found guilty, and sentenced to a minimum of 3 years in prison. But there is a caveat: they can only be deported if their lives in their home countries would not be at risk. Merkel wants to safeguard the rights of migrants who do not share in the heinous acts of those who break the law. She wants to set an example that staying in Germany is a privilege and not a right of anyone who is allowed into the country. But the legal ramifications of deportation proceedings are less clear. It is far easier to allow hundreds of thousands of migrants in than to deport any of them. Changes to the law are in their infancy stages now, and it’s not clear whether things would be applied retroactively or not.
What Is in Germany’s Best Interest?
Merkel is facing a stern test at home. As the one European nation – alongside France – that has allowed millions of migrants into the country, she is finding that public tolerance of such measures is not without its limitations. Although Merkel believes that integration can be successful, even on such a mass scale, there are doubts that managing vast numbers of people will ever be successful. The right wing Pegida movement is not as accommodating to the criminal elements among the migrants. And now we are seeing deep divisions between eastern and western Europe taking place. There are increasing calls from leaders across the spectrum to seal off Europe’s borders before all hell breaks loose.