Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The 500,000 Comment

This morning in Germany....the Vice-Chancellor (Sigmar Gabriel of the SPD Party) noted that other European countries will have to accept some type of quota system....that Germany simply can't be expected to take in the bulk of all refugees heading this way.  Then he said the magic German number....a limit of 500,000.

An absolute or precise number?  Well....no.

Few people (especially journalists) will ever comment on this.....but when some refugee or asylum seeker shows up in Germany....you fill out a form, ID yourself, and then get evaluated.  If you are an economic refugee.....it's like one-percent of the group who are accepted.  It is a very low number who will get a visa.

If you are a Syrian, your evaluation will go through and it's like a 99-percent chance of approval.  Unless you hint of some ISIS-connection....you will probably get a visa.

The folks inbetween?  It's a fifty-fifty shot.  It is dependent on your homeland, their war situation, or your religious connection.

So, if you had 850,000 people show up.....it doesn't really mean anything.  If the bulk were economic refugees....they won't stay.  The German government is awful careful in avoiding discussions on numbers in each group.  I don't think any government agency person comments on this statistical thing.

As for handling 500,000?  I think if you said that each month....sixty thousand people might walk through and there was a timed effort, with allocated resources to handle each step.....then I suspect it'd all work like clock-work.  Sadly, there is no timed junction and the process steps are spread out among sixteen German states.  Some have adapted to the work-load and some have not.  There's some catch-up action going on, and I suspect some refugees are in a frustrated position.

The idea that other EU members will share on the problem?  Twenty-eight members to the EU and there just won't be any agreement to this quota system.  People will sit there and chat for hours about the problem, but I don't see the twenty-eight coming to a mutual quota idea and accepting it as absolute.  Even if they did.....how would some refugee family react if suddenly the German camp director said the visa was approved, but they'd have to accept Ireland?  Getting on some plane in Frankfurt and hours later....arriving in some small Irish village of seventy residents and one single pub.  This wasn't their intended 'dream'.

At some point, a smart journalist will go up to the Vice-Chancellor and ask....where exactly he got the magic number of 500,000.....what report or analysis was dug up to prove that particular number.  And I suspect he'll stand there and grin for a moment, and just say it's the best he could do with the facts on the table as he saw it.   Presently, Germans probably need a humble guy just admitting some blunt truth, and the 500,000 blunt truth probably is the first step toward that reality.

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