Sooner or later reality gets up in your face.
Germany has introduced temporary controls on its border with Austria to cope with the influx of migrants, the interior minister has said.
Politically this is a shrewd move by Thomas de Maiziere. His announcement comes just a day before he travels to Brussels to meet other EU interior ministers to discuss the migrant crisis. The measure will help him put pressure on other European countries to do their bit. It highlights just how much Germany is struggling to cope.
The move could also serve as a useful threat; after all, Mr de Maiziere said Germany was controlling the border with Austria “first”, the implication being more could follow. The possibility that Germany might suddenly decide to control its other borders could well help jolt EU partners into action.