The Return of Sovereignty

The crisis in Greece has always been at heart a political crisis. Greece appears to have finally reached the endgame when it comes to the debt, but the next step is unknown. Will the EU come together and work with Greece post default, or is an even greater political breakup already developing?

BBC: Peston: ECB to turn off emergency Greek help
The European Central Bank's governing council is expected to turn off Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) for Greek banks at its meeting later today, according to well-placed sources.

So unless Greek savers miraculously decide to cease withdrawing cash from their accounts, Greek banks would find themselves in serious straits as soon as Monday - because the banks have become dependent on ELA, approved by the ECB but supplied by the Bank of Greece, to provide the cash to depositors who want their money back.

"We think the Greek government will have no choice but to announce a bank holiday on Monday, pending the introduction of capital controls," said a source.

Greece to shut banks and stock exchange on Monday
Greek banks and the stock exchange will be shut tomorrow after creditors refused to extend the country's bailout and savers queued to withdraw cash, taking Athens' standoff with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund to a dangerous new level.

Not unrelated to the collapse of political consensus is the increasingly nationalist East.

RT: ‘Slovakia to Slovaks’: Thousands join anti-Islamization protest in Bratislava, dozens arrested
At least 140 people have been arrested in Slovakia’s capital, where thousands gathered for an anti-immigration and anti-Islamization rally, according to local media reports. The march turned violent as protesters scuffled with police.

The march was organized by the Alternativna cesta group via Facebook. It was called to protest against Brussels’ proposal to tackle the influx of migrants to the EU by imposing compulsory national quotas that require EU countries to accept a specific number of new migrants, most of whom arrived in Italy or Greece.

Hungary to build fence on Serbian border to shut out illegal immigrants
Hungary will build a temporary fence on the border with Serbia as fast as possible to stop the flow of illegal migrants, the foreign minister said.

Austria, meanwhile, reacted angrily to Hungary's announcement that, for an indefinite period, it would not take back refugees it registered when they entered Hungary but left for other destinations in Europe before their asylum requests were decided.

Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said several laws needed to be amended before construction of the fence could begin so he could not say exactly when the work on the "temporary border seal" could start.

"In the future, we will apply temporary border seals on every border section where there is no other effective way to impede illegal immigration," Szijjarto said, adding that the government had set aside 6.5 billion forints (20.9 million euros) for the project.

NeuEurope: A Hungarian, Italian, and Greek crisis is becoming European
On Tuesday, Hungary moved to unilaterally suspended EU asylum rules requiring the country to take back refugees who have transited through the country. There are precedents. The Berlusconi government had a “see no evil, hear no evil” policy during the Libyan crisis in 2011, refusing to enforce the Dublin Regulations requiring asylum seekers to seek refuge in the first country they set foot. Italy in effect allowed for their travel to France. However, this is the, so called, Dublin Regulation, but this is the first time this is happening openly.

Brussels called for clarification. The Hungarian government’s response is that the asylum system in the country is “the most overburdened among EU member states” dealing with 60.000 people the first half of 2015. The Commission spokesman noted that “Dublin rules do not foresee the suspension of transfers by the receiving member states,” but it will be hard to take any action to streamline the Hungarian government. On the one hand, an extreme response would call into question the impartiality of the Commission and make the practical management of the crisis difficult. On the other hand, a number of member states have increasingly anti-immigration rhetoric and Prime Minister Victor Orban is likely to find ample support for his decision.

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