There is one migrant tale that I'm afraid made me chuckle. The tens of thousands of economic migrants forcing their way through Hungary and into Austria on their way to Baveria in Germany were single minded - but at the request of the German federal authorities, the Austrians had closed the official border crossing points. News crews were invited to film the closed roads. Tens of thousands of migrants took refuge in the forest on the border - only to find the trees annotated with scores of little arrows with German flags painted on them, pointing in the direction of Breitenberg in Bavaria. Within a week, ten thousand migrants had crossed the unguarded forest border into the town, away from the cameras.
Of the hundreds of thousands of migrants passing through Austria this year, only about 46,000 have made asylum claims. Of those, a high proportion are from the western Balkans and will be sent home. Still, the upheaval is enough to worry the Viennese socialists, who have provided the Mayor and Council of Vienna pretty much since the 1920s, with the exception of 1938-1945. The right-of-centre Freedom Party is snapping at the socialists' heels, and tomorrow's vote could create a major upset the reverbrations of which will be felt in Berlin.
Senior German politicians are furiously back-pedalling on Merkel's open invitation to the feckless of Africa, Asia and the Middle East to suckle at her German dugs. With Turkey getting revenge for Germany's repeated humiliation of the Moslem nation in blocking EU membership, Merkel now faces an influx of Syrian Jihadists, Islamists and rebels as Russia mops them up on the ground. In an article in Der Speigel, Merkel's refusal to talk numbers is reported to be splitting her support; " .. if her plan to pacify the world doesn't work, it could be that so
many people will come to Germany that Germans will no longer stand for
it. Merkel is aware of that, which is why she doesn't want to become
involved in a discussion about numbers. She doesn't want to name her own
threshold of failure."
I've written before that there is a maximum number that Germany can take; clearly that number is less than the 1.5m that are headed there this year. When it comes to German border guards beating them back with batons and tear gas - as I think it will, whether under Merkel or her replacement - her great gesture will turn sour.