woensdag 27 juni 2018

Immigration regurgitation

Nick Hubble

Dear Reader

It’s pretty rare to hear anything profound from a politician these days. But this week, it’s come thick and fast from across Europe.

Our first candidate tried to be polite and civil about things. But failed miserably. Because the numbers are just too harrowing to be politically correct:

“I’m honestly calculating very, very conservatively here. To take out any acrimony. But if it goes on like this, we’ll have more refugees this year than last.

“Now add in family reunifications. Of those who calculate these matters, I’m on the extremely conservative side. I’m calculating based on a per refugee factor of 0.5. Yesterday experts have told us we could easily use figures of 2,3 or 4. I’m calculating based on a factor of 0.5, which means, for every two refuges, one will bring a single family member. Then they’ll be at three million.

“What that means for security, integration, the ability to finance our government, for the function of our government including the judicial branch – that is a different country. And the population doesn’t want Germany or Bavaria to become a different country. And I’m understating things.”
Horst Seehofer is the leader of the Bavarian political party that supports Angela Merkel. (The Bavarians have always been a little different, so they get their own version of the same political party in that state.)

His point is that immigration is simply out of control. It’ll completely change Germany. And those statements are numerical, not opinions.

I didn’t hear much German when I walked the streets of Munich recently. In Berlin, the street signs banning skateboarding and football are not in German.

But it’s what Seehofer finished off with that really made things click. He told the electorate that he’d been so understated about the figures to discourage the populist upstart parties from profiting politically from any outburst on his part. But “you do not stop the [right wing] agitators from profiting politically by staying silent.”

And that, my dear readers, is the end of the EU as we know it. If the Germans have had enough, and even their politicians have cottoned on, radical change is coming in Europe.

The existing EU powerbase in the heartland of Europe is turning on its policies to avoid further electoral defeat. This is precisely the change that Britain’s leaders made on Brexit. They decided to defer to the electorate’s voice instead of their own views on Europe. And it spared them the electoral debacle of the Alternative for Germany party (AfD), 5-Star, Lega, Marine Le Pen, and so many more.

German politicians want a piece of Britain’s comparative political stability for the two major parties. Merkel’s open Europe has led to too many defeats for its supporters across Europe. Recently, Seehofer told the world he simply couldn’t work with “that woman” any more. It was a Freudian slip given the likelihood of being in government without a change in policy.

Not that policy changes come without a price. Merkel’s government wobbled thanks to her coalition partner’s outburst. She was given time to set the immigration debacle straight at an EU meeting, but failed.

And it was the new Italian government which saw to that. It called the EU’s entire immigration system into question instead of spending its time searching for political solutions. It wants the rules to be overhauled, so negotiating minor changes seems pointless.

Instead, the Italians have acted. They’ve closed their borders to ships carrying migrants across the Mediterranean.

Hungary’s foreign minister told the BBC why the Italians and others are so upset: “The current migration policy of the European Union can be very easily translated as an invitation in the minds of those people, who can easily make a decision to head towards Europe.”

But only some nations actually bear the resulting burden thanks to geography – something the EU has failed to change so far. Why does Hungary have to accept refugees from countries to its south, which are perfectly civilised and safe for refugees?

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