Last night, at the end of prime time on German Channel Two (ZDF, public-TV), was the public chat forum Maybrit Illner. Typically, it runs for about sixty minutes, and starts at 10:15PM.....meaning that the viewership is minimal.
Focus carried a decent description of the evening....at it's site.
The topic last night? "Help or cap-off refugees".
So it was a live show....six guests, and centered on the topic of migration, asylum and immigration....NOT just on Germany, but on European countries.
It's safe to say that the six guests all had a fair amount of knowledge on the topic and were fairly divided on situation.
The general divide reflects what you see in political bickering within Europe today. One group is set upon to 'help or save' people escaping misery and terrible woes. A second group asks the question where does the help start and end....meaning that there is a limit. Neither group can find a common ground.
The use of the Turkey-EU pact as a future template? Basically, Germany convinced the EU to stage a funding vehicle (3 billion Euro a year).....to hold back the smuggler route from Turkey into Greece. As long as the money flows and this promise of consideration for entry into the EU are part of the episode.....Turkey will hinder the smugglers. A forever-type of compromise? No one can precisely the length of this deal or the complicated nature of accepting the Turks into the EU. Getting the 27 remaining nations to agree on Turkey's entry....seems to be just about impossible. Using the template for Libya or Tunisia or such? You could easily see 12-billion Euro being spent as a 'holding-fee' on smuggling. Who pays the billions? EU taxpayers.
The forum brought up to the typical topic that arises in these situations....individual countries believe that they are the only ones that can be responsible for determining who comes into the country to stay, and the method of acceptance or review. The EU says that they have the responsibility. The hint by members of the EU is that after a discussion, you need to accept their method or have EU funding cut short to your country.....to let you understand a sort of 'punishment'. In some ways, the EU crowd are simply setting up some heavy blocks to fall and anti-EU chatter to be part of the future.
The spiraling up of this topic? What's generally seen in the Med is an increase in boat-people attempting to be picked up an deposited upon Italian island, and by the EU method....dispersed out across the EU. The idea of a review, application handling, and eventual determination that may allow the person to stay or be sent back? It's not in the public view of things and the EU doesn't want to suggest that any denial might occur (which obviously it will). The other odd thing to this boat-people scheme....is that they generally only have two or three countries in their mind....Germany, the UK, and France. If you listed out the 27 EU countries (not using the UK).....over half are NOT desired as the end-location on this 'adventure'. The EU avoids that little slice of the story.
It was an interesting chat-forum, but if you asked me on viewership within Germany.....I'd take a guess that fewer than 400,000 of the 82-million residents....watched the show.