To look behind the closed doors of German Chancellor Angela Merkel you do not have to be the NSA, surveilling with high-tech equipment from the top of the U.S. Embassy at Pariser Platz near the famous Brandenburg Gate only a mile away.
You just need a friend in her party, the Christian Democratic Party (CDU), who talks with her, to know what the “Person of the Year 2015” thinks about the more than one million refugees in Germany.
Why does she not want to limit the influx – like her coalition partner, the CSU from Bavaria – to just 200,000 a year.
Why does she want to curb the refugee stream with a “European solution” ?
Just listen to her behind Berlin’s closed doors.
She has two moral arguments.
First, Merkel said that she cannot look into the eyes children and tell them to stay out of Germany or go back home. “It is our moral responsibility to help them”, she says.
This happened on July 16, 2016, when a 14 year old girl, Reem Sahwill, from Palestine told her in front of the public and TV cameras in a townhall meeting in Rostock, with tears in her eyes, she has to leave and wants to stay in Germany with her family. The Chancellor was criticized, when she told Reem in her typical cold manner, “some have to go back”, but later arranged for the family to stay. So one refugee girl changed the way the Chancellor thinks and acts.
Second, she is using another argument, never in the public, but in private meetings: Germany has a burdensome moral responsibility from the past Nazi time. By letting so many refugees in, her country pays back and reduces the moral debt.
These are her moral mantras.
The reality is different.
Germany can hardly handle the more than one million refugees from 2015, and never another million this year. There simply is not enough capacity left. No housing, not enough jobs. Teachers are needed for 300,000 children and kindergarten teachers for another 100,000. The costs are estimated to accumulate to more than € 17 billion.
Sweden and Denmark just reintroduced border control again. There are too many. Most Eastern European countries will block taking more emigrants from the Islamic countries. Merkel still wants a “fair distribution in the EU” and a European solution, but this is a Mission Impossible.
Berlin insiders tell another story of Angela Merkel, who is famous for her coolness and not showing emotions.
She has three personal, cold arguments not to stop the refugee tsunami now.
First, she wants to keep open the option for a first coalition with the Green Party in September next year in the federal elections. They are for open doors forever.
Second, she hates to be confronted with nasty TV pictures of struggling people at the borders of Europe and Germany.
Third, she loves to push problems forward into the far future. Quick actions and master plans are not in her nature. She is more Helmut Kohl-like, sitting relaxed in the Chancellery and waiting for the problems to disappear. It sounds like something you needed to survive in the communist GDR. She is not pushing for a quick grand master plan to do what is necessary to integrate the one million refugees. Her style is slow, step by step by step, and nobody dares to push Mother Merkel. Maybe she has decided not to run for office again next year, as some are speculating.