Morning Call: pick of the papers

The ten must-read comment pieces from this morning's papers.

1. It's a myth the generations are at war. We're all in this together (Guardian)

Instead of starting a proxy war pitting old voters against young, politicians should be creating whole-family policies, writes Jackie Ashley. 

2. Bridging the poverty gap calls for bold ideas (Daily Telegraph)

Raising the minimum wage will help the poor, but it is no substitute for free-market reform, argues Jeremy Warner.

3. Only trust can dampen this inflamed anger (Times)

Recruiting more black officers is the best way to bring calm to the combustible streets of Tottenham, writes Philip Collins. 

4. Tomorrow holds both risk and riches (Financial Times)

Pressures for conflict in a more disordered planet are there for all to see, writes Philip Stephens. 

5. Gangsterism, not racism, was the root of Duggan’s shooting (Daily Telegraph)

Too many children on council estates are being drawn into a life of crime because work does not pay, says Fraser Nelson. 

6. Winter Olympics: one day the worm will turn against these gods of sport (Guardian)

After Vladimir Putin, how many more leaders will risk their nation's security and economy for an IOC mega-event, asks Simon Jenkins.

7. The strange case of the 'influential’ board (Daily Telegraph)

It was remarkable that Nadhim Zahawi decided to attack the National Planning Policy Framework, says Isabel Hardman. 

8. Free politics from intellectual vacuum (Financial Times)

Conservatives and progressives have to learn from each other, writes Michael Ignatieff.

9. There's no sense in querying the Mark Duggan jury (Independent)

To accuse them of being illogical or stupid is to reject what a jury is for, says Mary Dejevsky.

10. The stench of a cover-up over Libya grows (Times)

The refusal to release a report into the killing of Yvonne Fletcher may be due to official embarrassment, says Ben Macintyre.

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Ansbach puts Europe's bravest politician under pressure

Angela Merkel must respond to a series of tragedies and criticisms of her refugee policy. 

Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, is supposed to be on holiday. Two separate attacks have put an end to that. The first, a mass shooting in Munich, was at first widely believed to be a terrorist attack, but later turned out to be the actions of a loner obsessed with US high school shootings. The second, where a man blew himself up in the town of Ansbach, caused less physical damage - three were seriously injured, but none killed. Nevertheless, this event may prove to affect even more people's lives. Because that man had come to Germany claiming to be a Syrian refugee. 

The attack came hours after a Syrian refugee murdered a pregnant Polish woman, a co-woker in a snack bar, in Reutlingen. All eyes will now be on Merkel who, more than any other European politician, is held responsible for Syrian refugees in Europe.

In 2015, when other European states were erecting barriers to keep out the million migrants and refugees marching north, Merkel kept Germany's borders open. The country has resettled 41,899 Syrians since 2013, according to the UNHCR, of which 20,067 came on humanitarian grounds and 21,832 through private sponsorship. That is twice as much as the UK has pledged to resettle by 2020. The actual number of Syrians in Germany is far higher - 90 per cent of the 102,400 Syrians applying for EU asylum in the first quarter of 2016 were registered there. 

Merkel is the bravest of Europe's politicians. Contrary to some assertions on the right, she did not invent the refugee crisis. Five years of brutal war in Syria did that. Merkel was simply the first of the continent's most prominent leaders to stop ignoring it. If Germany had not absorbed so many refugees, they would still be in central Europe and the Balkans, and we would be seeing even more pictures of starved children in informal camps than we do today. 

Equally, the problems facing Merkel now are not hers alone. These are the problems facing all of Europe's major states, whether or not they recognise them. 

Take the failed Syrian asylum seeker of Ansbach (his application was rejected but he could not be deported back to a warzone). In Germany, his application could at least be considered, and rejected. Europe as a whole has not invested in the processing centres required to determine who is a Syrian civilian, who might be a Syrian combatant and who is simply taking advantage of the black market in Syrian passports to masquerade as a refugee. 

Secondly, there is the subject of trauma. The Munich shooter appears to have had no links to Islamic State or Syria, but his act underlines the fact you do not need a grand political narrative to inflict hurt on others. Syrians who have experienced unspeakable violence either in their homeland or en route to Europe are left psychologically damaged. That is not to suggest they will turn to violence. But it is still safer to offer such people therapy than leave them to drift around Europe, unmonitored and unsupported, as other countries seem willing to do. 

Third, there is the question of lawlessness. Syrians have been blamed for everything from the Cologne attacks in January to creeping Islamist radicalisation. But apart from the fact that these reports can turn out to be overblown (two of the 58 men arrested over Cologne were Syrians), it is unclear what the alternative would be. Policies that force Syrians underground have already greatly empowered Europe's network of human traffickers and thugs.

So far, Merkel seems to be standing her ground. Her home affairs spokesman, Stephan Mayer, told the BBC that Germany had room to improve on its asylum policy, but stressed each attack was different. 

He said: "Horrible things take place in Syria. And it is the biggest humanitarian catastrophe, so it is completely wrong to blame Angela Merkel, or her refugee policies, for these incidents." Many will do, all the same.