There's an emergency meeting set in Bavaria this afternoon (Sunday) at 4PM. What the news media is saying is that the Bavarian cabinet will meet with the Prime Minister (Horst Seehofer) to determine some course of action....probably to start on Monday morning. My guess is that the meeting will end between 6 and 7 PM, and a major statement by Seehofer will occur.
The authorities in Munich say that roughly 13,000 refugees and asylum seekers will taken in for Saturday. Most of the analysis by news groups indicate that it's simply an open-door....with no one in Bavaria seeing some closure or downward trend.
The chief comment this morning in the German news by the Munich mayor (Dieter Reiter) revolves around the words "bitterly disappointed". There's no rescue coming from the Berlin crowd, and each day brings more refugees into Munich. Oddly, the only brief ray of sunshine for Munich was the arrival of eight buses from North Rhine-Westphalia which took 400 people north and out of Munich. That was it....eight buses.
The 19th in Munich was supposed to be the opening of the Octoberfest, and a major deal for city tourism, tax revenue collection, profits for local vendors, and full hotels for roughly three weeks. I would imagine that people are now asking stupid questions and wondering how all of this will affect the Octoberfest.
ARD says that an emergency tent project is underway over at the Bundeswehr University area....on the southeast end of Munich....with several massive tents going up on Bundeswehr property. No one talks numbers....just saying "large-scale" in terms of operations. This is on top of an operation being carved out on the Olympic park on the northwest side of the city.
If you look at the current strategy by Munich....it's simply to provide cover from the weather and provide some sanitary conditions for the large crowds arriving by the hour in the city. None of these are really developed for long-term usage. One gets the impression that Munich figured that the federal folks out of Berlin would have created a bigger strategy with buses coming in and picking up people by the hour, and shuttling them to dozens of cities around Germany with realistic long-term accommodations.
In some ways, as much as kindness and compassion was exercised....planning and real strategic thinking was more or less left as something for a much later period.
The three key elements of fixing this?
One. Someone with rank or title....needs to be appointed and act as the national authority on this issue until it subsides (probably a year or two down the line). It's not an Interior Minister project any longer....it's way beyond that level. You need someone with executive background, military time, and massive authority to use funding, resources, and state property. It'll likely be a person fired within six months because the Berlin crowd is unhappy with the massive amount of authority they handed the person....but the reality is that actions need to happen now of a massive nature.
Two. The approval/disapproval process to visas need to be fixed....not in months or weeks....but in a matter of days. If the approval authority (currently at 550-odd employees, with a recent bump up with another 2,000)....need a full-force of 6,000 employees....hire them, this week. Bring in other state employees or Bundeswehr members to sit at the desks and accomplish the work required. The idea of a potential group of 150,000 refugees sitting around for five months to get disapproved....makes sense....then something is really screwed up within the German system. It should not take more than two or three weeks to review the paperwork, ensure the ID, and make a decision. If accepted, fine.....if disapproved, lead the person out within twenty-four hours.
Three. If you can't convince the EU on quotas....then your whole strategy is screwed-up. You need to reassign a whole new strategy and get real serious about the border in a matter of weeks. Just opening up autobahn passport check-points is just one-percent of the work required. You'd have to hire thousands of new people to maintain the integrity of the border.....if you intend to keep concept of a border. My humble guess is that the twenty-eight members of the EU....might discuss quotas, but we are talking about a couple thousand people a year max, and that won't help in the present circumstances.