It is very rare for German Chancellor Angela Merkel to be offered congratulations on her leadership particularly during the Greek crisis but with the stance on the refugee crisis, she is described as heartwarming, humanitarian, kind and warm. Angela Merkel is now being applauded all over the world for her willingness to take in 800,000 refugees and for being one of the world leaders who has stood up for humanitarian values in the largest refugee crisis ever since the Second World War.
The dramatic scenes and pictures the last few days from Hungary and the shores of Greece have strengthened the German leadership’s resolve but the 800,000 refugees is just a projection on how many refugees they can accept until the end of the year. The number is not definitely a quota or a wish by Merkel.
It is a fact that many people will try to go to Germany and everyone who successfully gets there has the right to an asylum hearing. On the other hand, Merkel hands are equally tied to laws and normative stances. Germany however has taken new pragmatism in a commendable way and Merkel is now leading this new pragmatism and making a virtue from sheer necessity.
Merkel has stated that Germany is capable of handling the increase but they need to be more flexible and less bureaucratic and that they have a moral and legal obligation to provide protection to anyone who is trying to escape conflict.
About 45% of the refugees in Germany come from the Western Balkans and it is safe to say that they will comprise the majority of the predicted 800,000. The government is trying to speed up hearing time because lengthy processing times is seen by many as the pull factor for those trying to escape the harsh Balkan winters. With a recognition rate of less than 1% in asylum cases, it is expected that many will be returned to the country of origin to bring down numbers in the future.
The government is also discussing the distribution of non-cash items instead of pocket money to reduce the incentives of coming to Germany. Non-recognized asylum seekers will be deported immediately and more efficiently so that there will be a proper management of migration.
Labor Day in America marks the moment when the presidential campaign turns serious. As summer ends and the leaves start to fall with the weather getting colder every day, the political stakes increase for the presidential hopefuls. Negative ads will start to fill the airwaves and candidates will no longer enjoy the luxury of a weekend relaxation because all thoughts will be on the political campaign.
Many view the entry of billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump into the presidential race as entertainment rather than a political milestone. Since 1988, Trump has flirted on and off with his presidential bid so that only a few seriously believe his entry in the presidential race. Trump has always portrayed himself as a political juggernaut who has built an unlikely coalition that includes white nationalists and Reagan Democrats while establishing himself as a Republican frontrunner.
Trump has made so many controversial remarks and most of the remarks would have ended a political career. Instead, Trump is building up real political organizations in early states that include New Hampshire and Iowa with his lead in the polls getting stronger.
On the other hand, Hilary Clinton remains to be the overwhelming favorite of the Democrats and she is poised to easily claim the party’s nomination. However, Clinton is plagued by a constant dribble of negative news from the use of her personal email while she was still serving as secretary of state to the threats of a populist insurgency on the left of the Democratic Party.
Iowa’s support for Clinton is dramatically dropping and she is now trailing Vermont senator Bernie Sanders in the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire. These weaknesses have provided vice president Joe Biden the opportunity to enter the presidential race if he chooses to do so. While Hilary Clinton remains to be favorite Democrat standard bearer for the presidential elections in November 2016, it is no longer a sure thing.
Both Republican and Democrat primary voters have chosen outsiders instead of veteran politicians. Two of the most popular candidates for the GOP nomination are Donald Trump and Ben Carson; two individuals whose names have never appeared in ballots.