EU Solidarity has splintered widely as Ministers Ram Through Refugee Quota Plan over the objections of numerous countries.
EU interior ministers on Tuesday imposed a plan to relocate 120,000 refugees across the EU, outvoting four eastern European countries strongly opposed to the scheme.
The use of majority voting to push ahead with the burden-sharing scheme -- regarded as politically unacceptable in some capitals -- is a rare move in a bloc that typically acts by consensus on sensitive issues. It is certain to amplify tensions over the migrants crisis.
Slovakia's Robert Fico was defiant, saying he would not be bound by the decision. "As long as I am prime minister, mandatory quotas will not be implemented on Slovak territory," he told MPs in Bratislava.
Milan Chovanec, the Czech interior minister, tweeted that the policy would not work: "Soon we will find out that the emperor has no clothes. Reason lost today."
EU diplomats said Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and the Czech Republic voted against the plan, with Finland abstaining, but they were unable to stop its proponents, led by Germany and France.
Syrian, Iraqi and Eritrean asylum-seekers would qualify for the programme, but the logistics of how they will be distributed are still to be worked out.
Jean Asselborn, the Luxembourg minister who chaired the meeting, said ministers "would have preferred to have an agreement by consensus", but said the EU expected the objectors to abide by the redistribution plan, as required under EU law.
Fairy Tale Material
The statement by Asselborn that the "EU expected objectors to abide by the redistribution plan, as required under EU law" is fairy tale material given statements by the Czech Republic and Slovakia and actions by Hungary.
Actions Speak Loudly
On Monday evening, Hungary, a transit country, stepped up its confrontational approach, passing a law that allows the army to use rubber bullets, tear gas and nets against migrants. Viktor Orban, prime minister, warned that the flow of people was "breaking the doors down on top of us". Budapest has previously taken steps to close its borders with Serbia, Croatia and Romania to try to stop the flows of migrants.
The Financial Times noted that another 3,000 to 4,000 migrants hit Greece every day. But there is no work in Greece and no money either. Ranko Ostojic, Croatia's interior minister, said he would call on Athens to stop moving Middle Eastern refugees to other parts of the EU.
Excuse me for asking the obvious, but what the hell is Greece supposed to do with an influx of three to four thousand refugees a day but pass them on?
And please do the math on that. 3,000 times 30 is a rate of about 90,000 a month. 4,000 times 30 is 120,000 refugees a month.
The EU imposed a plan to relocate 120,000 refugees over the course of a year. Its plan will cover the inflow for a month or so.
As I have stated numerous times, there is an unlimited demand for free services. And please bear in mind there are some 4 million refugees waiting in the wings in Turkey, Lebanon, and other places.
Potential EU Refugees
The Mercy Corp provides this map to consider.
Map updated as of September 2015.
Counting just those in Turkey and Lebanon, there is a potential for another 3,111,752 refugees who may find free handouts from Germany and Sweden to their liking.
If just 1/4 of them try, that's another 778,000 or so. Make it easy enough, and hand out enough free food, shelter, and services, and every one of them would jump at the chance.
We are not talking about 120,000 a year. Rather we are talking about the possibility of relocating 3,111,752 refugees over the course of a year. That would be about 259,000 a month for a full year. Needless to say, quotas cannot possibly work.
Question of the Day
How is it that the EU nannycrats cannot figure out this simple math? Or have they figured it out but simply do not care, hoping it will solve the alleged "deflation problem" or further some ridiculous socialist goal?