While Europe may have sold its soul to the devil over the past decade, after it was "forced" to engage in diabolical currency swap deal with the "godly" likes of Goldman Sachs simply to mask that Europe's monetary union is nothing but a debtor's prison to the weaker peripheral countries at the expense of the stronger ones (or one: Germany), it still retained its beating heart - the concept that served at the core of the European Union: the so-called customs union, or a mobile, borderless workforce. Alas, the heart has just entered ventricular fibrillation, as for the first time, a country, Denmark, has taken what appears to be the first step toward defecting from Europe's 60 year old experiment of intimate, and sometimes, forceful unification. As EUBusiness reports: "Denmark will reintroduce controls at its
intra-EU borders with Germany and Sweden, Finance Minister Claus Hjort
Frederiksen said Wednesday following an agreement between the government
and the far-right. "We have reached agreement on reintroducing
customs inspections at Denmark's borders as soon as possible," Hjort
Frederiksen told reporters." The official reason: "controls would counter illegal immigration and
organised crime." The unofficial reason: the great, and failed, experiment at unity may be ending.
And while Denmark is the first to officially defect, even under a palatable explanation, it surely won't be the last: "The idea of
controls at borders within the EU, also defended by Italy and France,
was pressed by the far-right Danish People's Party and its head Pia
Kjaersgaard, who argued controls would counter illegal immigration and
organised crime." One thing we have seen in Europe is that courtesy of the relentless ebb of austerity, the far-right is progressively gaining a foothold in every country. And one can be certain that the populist whiplash against all things European, will not be contained to merely the monetary arena, but will rapidly devolve to restoring borders, following which the EU will exist only in history books.
More from EUBusiness:
Because Denmark is a member of Europe's visa-free Schengen area, it cannot reinstate full frontier controls, and will still follow European Union rules with its current plan to station customs officers permanently at borders to conduct random checks on vehicles.
"Everything will take place within the limits of Schengen," the minister said.
"Over the past few years we have seen an increase in trans-border crime, and this is designed to curb the problem. We will be building new facilities at the Danish-German border, with new electronic equipment and number-plate identifiers," he told a news conference.
The minister added Denmark wanted Danish customs officers to be permanently present at the Oeresund Bridge that links Denmark and Sweden.
Denmark's decision comes a day ahead of a key meeting in Brussels on Thursday at which EU interior ministers are to debate proposals for restoring temporary border controls within the visa-free zone.
Naturally, the European Commission had anticipated this possibility:
The European Commission proposed last week to introduce a mechanism that would allow states to temporarily reinstate checkpoints during sudden surges in migration or if an EU country fails to control its frontier with non-EU nations.
However, it did not act fast enough: "Denmark thus went ahead with tighter border controls before a possible EU decision on the matter." As such, Europe's tardiness will serve as a slap in the face of its own bloated bureaucratic regimes.
Lastly, it appears the Danes have no intention of wasting any time:
The new controls will enter into force within two to three weeks, he said.
Yesterday Greek riots, today border checkpoints, tomorrow: the end of a failed new world order dream?