Stopping the Flow: Berlin searching a for Back-Up Plan in Refugee Crisis. (Spiegel).
That may not sound like much, but was nothing less than an announcement that Germany was making a strategic shift in its refugee policies. Merkel has been insistent that a European solution needs to be found for the crisis. But asked what this "European solution" might look like, officials are giving a different answer these days than they used to.
Previously, the official German position had been that refugees should be stopped at the European Union's external borders in Greece and Italy. The plan had been to open up large initial reception centers, so-called hotspots, where refugees would be registered and a decision made on their possible redistribution to other European countries. Merkel says she is still pursuing this plan.
The problem is that the opening of the hotspots is moving ahead extremely slowly. Greece in particular, the country through which most refugees are currently traveling to the European Union, isn't adhering to its obligations. It's one of the main reasons the number of refugees has not dropped in Germany to a degree that might reduce political pressure on Merkel.
The idea foresees Slovenia playing a key role -- as the first country after Greece along the West Balkan route that has an external Schengen border. The plan would envision stopping all migrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan and North Africa there. Read the full story here.