Influential politicians across Eastern Europe have pointed to the Cologne attacks, in which men of Middle Eastern appearance allegedly sexually assaulted over a hundred women, as proof that Germany’s open-door refugee policy has been a mistake.
As Chancellor Angela Merkel seeks to reach a consensus on a quota system, whereby refugees would be divided up among European countries, the mood in Eastern Europe has now hardened against such proposals, with some governments saying they will refuse to take in young men.
The strongest criticism has come from Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico, who said in a television discussion that Migrants have become a ‘protected species’ in Germany, Spiegel Online reports.
The Polish government has also said that Germany has not taken the refugee influx seriously enough, adding that it doesn’t want to take young male asylum seekers in.
In Romania meanwhile, the influential ex-president Traian Basescu said that the Cologne attacks were proof that the Romanian government should join its Eastern European neighbours in opposing a quota system.
Slovakian premier Fico called for an emergency meeting of EU leaders in light of the Cologne attacks in order to discuss border controls, hindering migration and the development of parallel societies.
His country wouldn’t accept women being insulted in the streets, nor would it tolerate closed-off Muslim communities, Fico said.
‘Crisis of liberalism’
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in his weekly radio interview that it was proof of a crisis of liberalism that reporting of the sexual assaults in Cologne had been suppressed in Germany, adding that the press in Hungary is much freer than that in western Europe.
Orban added that Hungary is in the right on the refugee issue and that migration into Europe must be completely stopped.
Hungarian media went even further in its criticism of the German government.
Orban ally Zsolt Bayer described the Cologne attackers as “North African and Arabic animals - nothing but hyenas,” in an article for Magyar Hirlap newspaper, Spiegel reports.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is letting her family and children get eaten by hyenas, he wrote.
“There are no bastards on this earth more abominable and more destructive than these liberal pigs who are digging Europe’s grave,” wrote the conservative news site Magyar Idök.