Sunday, December 27, 2015

The German Border Discussion

I noticed this morning in "Welt Am Sonntag" (a German newspaper)....there's this piece over the suggestion that Bavaria wants to control and protect it's own border.  Naturally, the guys in Berlin are very much against such enthusiastic behavior or allowing this much power to exist at the state level.

The Bavarians?  Well....the CSU (the sister-party of the CDU) have a good bit to say in Bavarian politics and it's part of a trend with the CSU.  They don't agree with Chancellor Merkel's vision of the immigration issue and it's more of a 'poke' than anything else.

What is generally said from the Bavarian point of view....is that the German federal border patrol folks simply don't have the manpower to do an adequate job.  In some ways, the Bavarians are challenging the Berlin crowd.....hire more border patrol guards or let us do the job.  The humorous part of this story.....which Welt Am Sonntag missed....is that if the Bavarians did the job themselves....they'd have to hire a ton of personnel and it'd have to come out of the state budget.  To be honest, I doubt if they have the funding to do the job, and they'd have to beg Berlin for more funds.

Naturally, in public, Berlin can't make the suggestion of letting Bavaria do this.....because then pressure would be on each state facing a border to have their own force.  Ten German states face some external border.....so each would have a force and each would be manned to probably double or triple what the current German federal border patrol manages.  Each would apply their own methods and rules and thus bring on dozens of problems between individual states and the Berlin federal government itself.

What this all leads to?  Five state elections occur in 2016.  Three state elections occur in 2017, with the German national election set for the fall period of 2017 currently.  Bavaria itself?  It doesn't face a state election period until September of 2018.  The last election was a cake-walk for the CSU in Bavaria....with the party winning 43-percent of the national vote.

The problem is that as much as Berlin talks about a border existing and a professional force managing the border....the image is difficult to produce and convince the public that they are protecting the border....as refugees and asylum-seekers cross with ease.

Every single statement made by the Berlin government is weakened by the pictures of people just walking across the border.

The trend will stay in Berlin's court....because they just won't hand legal authority over to Bavaria to manage the border.  But they are creating a five-star moment as the public see less and less of a controlled border and the responsibility for that goes back to the CDU and SPD political parties. It's just making the 2017 national election into a bigger deal than it currently is.

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