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Visegrád summit calls for a fence on the Macedonian border

February 17th, 2016

A pro-government commentator accuses German Chancellor Merkel of “moral imperialism” for opposing the ‘sealing off’ of the Schengen zone to migrants. The leading left-wing daily suggests that leaders of The Visegrád countries are unlikely to support the German Chancellor’s proposals at the EU summit on migration on Thursday.

At the end of the meeting of the Visegrad countries in Prague on Monday, PM Orbán called the EU’s migration strategy an utter failure. The V4 called for a united Europe without internal borders and PM Orbán said that this would necessitate the erection of a border defence fence along the Bulgarian and Macedonian borders in order to keep migrants out of Europe. In PM Orbán’s calculation, the potential number of refugees who may want to set off to Europe through Greece exceeds 38 million. Later in the evening, German Chancellor Merkel said that she opposed such plans.

In Magyar Idők, János Csontos accuses Chancellor Merkel of “moral imperialism” and claims that the V4 countries want to defend intra-EU freedom of movement by sealing off the Macedonian border. Csontos criticizes the German Chancellor for trying to broker a deal with Turkey in order to temporarily stop the flow of migrants rather than embracing the simple and feasible proposal of the V4 leaders. If the Macedonian border was sealed off, the EU could return to normal operation mode and the migrant crisis would be over, Csontos contends.

Although the V4 leaders did not openly revolt against Angela Merkel, they clearly indicated their scepticism towards the proposals the German Chancellor is expected to table at Thursday’s EU summit on migrationNépszabadság comments. In its front page editorial, the leading left-wing daily describes the tone of the Prague communiqué as milder than expected. The V4 had to face strong pressure from German diplomats who warned them ‘of the dangers of separatist policies’. Népszabadság wonders if their unity will outlast the EU Summit.

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