Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Idea of a German Fence

This morning, Welt am Sonntag (the German national newspaper) came out with an interview with Rainer Wendt, the head of the Police union in Germany.

Wendt basically says that the union now supports the idea of a fence to be built around Germany in some prevent refugees from entering.  His thoughts are.....if Germany builds such a fence.....Austria would be quickly forced to build a similar fence on their southern and western frontier, and all of this would shift the refugees into questioning the walk to Germany.

Hungry jumped onto the fence idea project and has put up two fences (one bordering Serbia and one bordering Croatia).  It took roughly sixty days to accomplish the Serbia fence (roughly 100 km)....using mostly Hungarian military troops.  I've seen various video reports of the fence construction and admit it's not a five-star fence and a guy with a pair of wire-cutters could cut through and cross the fence in a matter of five minutes.

This area that Wendt is talking about?  If you simply went to the first stage of Bavaria'd be talking about a fence that was roughly 550 kilometers long.  Bavarian for the most part would have no issue in building such a fence (I would guess that seventy percent of the adult population there would agree to build it).  The question of cost?  Well, yeah, that's going to be discussed at length because Bavarians probably don't want to foot the cost of the fence themselves and would prefer for Berlin to pay for it.

Estimated time to complete the project?  This depends on the mechanism of worker.  My guess is that some political figure will argue it needs to be contracted out, and built by a company....NOT by the German Army.  So bids will occur, along with bribes, and some no-name company will win the process.

Folks would get hyped up and figure that if the Hungarians could build a 100 kilometer fence in sixty-odd days with just plain Hungarian Army personnel.....well, surely.....this German fence built by professionals at a length of 550 kilometers should be done in two-hundred-odd days.  You could start by early December and be done by mid-April.

Well, that's a fine assessment, which would have worked prior to BER (the Berlin Airport), Stuttgart-21 (the rapid rail enhancement), and the dozens of other projects which have been significant failures in construction seen by the public over the past decade. Today?  With some outstanding corruption and incompetence.....I would make a guess that this simple 550 kilometer fence would face delay after delay, and the cost would eventually exceed two billion Euro (it ought to be done in two hundred days for a cost of 25,000 Euro per kilometer). the real world, 13.7 million Euro ought to wrap up the project.    

You can imagine Germans sitting there at the 300th day of the project, with some journalist standing on some hill.....reporting and observing six guys marginally working for six hours a day, and commenting that it's still a full year away from completion.  At some point, the news media will even find some contracted company working on the fence with undocumented Syrian refugee guys as part of the construction team.

That's the kind of confidence that will shatter German trust in the system to work in the manner of "made in Germany".

So, I'm going to make a suggestion.  Having built a number of fences in my life (at least during the farming period and the Air Force period)'s best to hand this job over to the German Army or hire sixty American guys to come over and do the work for you.  These are guys who will live at the site in campers.....move along each twelve hours a day with the expectation of a bonus at the end for completion.....not complain much about snow.....and do the job the right way.

On the positive side?  Well....the Berlin crowd will argue and argue about this.....for at least one full year, and thus bring all of Germany to tears over the necessity of debate by intellectuals about the construction of some fence.  Someone will eventually bring up that wolves, bears and various creatures cross the border on a daily basis.....thus it's a major problem to allow such a fence to be built.  And there.....the fence idea will lay.

I know....Bavarians will shake their head and just say it makes no sense.  But in today's world of Berlin, nothing is worth discussing unless there's a five-star debate somewhere in the mix.

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