EUROPE DISINTEGRATES: Now Germany threatens SANCTIONS against EU states over migrant chaos

A CAVERNOUS division opened up between Germany and the rest of Europe today after Angela Merkel’s right-hand man threatened sanctions against EU members who fail to control the migrant influx.

Thomas de Maiziere, right, and migrants arrive in Germany, left

GETTY   Thomas de Maiziere has threatened sanctions against other EU states

 Germany’s interior minister Thomas de Maiziere vowed revenge on fellow states over their part in the refugee chaos, accusing the rest of Europe of trying to “shift the collective problem onto our back”.

The extreme outburst highlighted the huge rifts opening up between European countries as the Brussels project lurches closer to collapse under the pressure of unprecedented migration.
Europe has been paralysed by indecision and bitter infighting over who should take the blame for the current refugee crisis, which has seen millions of people from Asia, the Middle East and North Africa arrive in the continent.And today Germany – which has descended into chaos after taking in by far the most migrants – finally snapped and issued an extraordinary rebuke to fellow member states.

Thomas de Maiziere and Angela Merkel

GETTY    Mr de Maiziere is Angela Merkel’s right-hand man

Migrants queue up at a camp in Greece

GETTY     His outburst came after Austria put a cap on migration

 In a furious outburst Mr de Maiziere said: “We will continue to fight for a European way out of the refugee crisis as long as it also promises to be successful in diminishing the number of refugees.

“However, should some countries try to unilaterally shift the collective problem onto the back of Germany, it would be unacceptable and would not be without consequences from our side in the long term.”His comments could be construed as a thinly-veiled swipe at neighbours Austria, which has introduced a highly controversial cap on the number of asylum seekers it will accept each day.

Most migrants arriving in Europe via Greece or Italy immediately travel north, heading towards Germany, Austria, Sweden and Britain.

Migrants are escorted by police on horseback

GETTY    Almost 1.5 million migrants have travelled to Germany over the last year

An EU flag with a hole in it

GETTY   The outburst is the latest fission to erupt within the EU

 If Austria starts refusing to take in migrants that could have a huge knock-on effect on Germany, adding vastly to the almost 1.5 million refugees the country has already taken in over the last year.

Addressing the Bundestag today, Mr de Maiziere insisted his government will also “deal more harshly” with migrants who claim to be refugees fleeing war, but later turn out to have moved for jobs and benefits.He also insisted authorities will clamp down on migrants who try to prolong their stay in Germany on false pretences, including those who launch spurious legal claims despite being found to have travelled their illegally.

Mrs Merkel has faced a furious backlash against her leadership in recent months as communities across Germany struggle to cope with the vast influx of newcomers.

Public opinion has turned sharply against mass migration in light of the Cologne sex attacks when 1,000 men, most of whom were refugees, went on the rampage raping and robbing women out celebrating New Year’s Eve.Mr de Maiziere insisted it was in German interests to stick to the Schengen free movement zone for as long as possible, even though Mrs Merkel has indicated she may look to reintroduce some border controls.That stance was supported by a survey published on Friday which showed that 58 percent of Germans want border controls to be reintroduced to keep out migrants, even if that causes inconvenience when travelling or transporting freight around Europe.

The Politbarometer survey for public broadcaster ZDF showed more than a third of Germans were against such controls.Concerns about integration of migrants in German society are also on the rise, with the poll showing that just over half of Germans doubt it will be possible.Slightly more than one in two think Germany cannot cope with the numbers of migrants arriving. The government expects hundreds of thousands more to come this year.

Migration is at the top of the agenda at crunch talks over Britain’s future on the EU tonight, with David Cameron locked in negotiations with other leaders over migrants’ access to benefits.

Tonight campaigners from Grassroots Out, which is fighting for a Brexit, are gathering in Westminster to launch their bid to get Britain out of the EU.

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