Arnon Grunberg



Der Spiegel on Cologne and New Year's Eve:

'The chancellor still doesn't want to deviate from her political path. She has rejected demands from Horst Seehofer, the head of the CSU, for an upper limit of 200,000 refugees per year. Merkel is concerned that, were Germany to begin turning people back at its borders, the Schengen system of border-free travel in Europe would collapse. She hopes to be able to reduce the number of refugees using other methods. She is depending on Europe, with the help of Turkey, being able to secure its external border and hoping to establish a system whereby a predetermined number of refugees are distributed fairly among all EU member states. "I would ask that I am given the time to try these things out," she said at the CSU's annual convention this week.

But she is demanding a patience that many politicians and German citizens are running out of. And Merkel knows it. "Those who were already afraid see Cologne as confirmation," says a Merkel confidant. "And those who are fundamentally open to refugees are now saying: It can't go on like this."

What should be done? An attempt at complete honesty would be a good start. Germans are not children who need to be protected from the truth for well-intended reasons. And part of the truth is the fact that politicians like to talk about integration but have not yet given any indication that they understand the magnitude of the challenge facing them. Another part of the truth is this: German society is becoming increasingly divided.'

Read the complete article here.

Sexual assault is serious enough, but politics driven by emotions can only bring disaster.

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