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Europe needs a reality check on immigration... and everything! Europe needs a reality check on immigration... and everything!
by Christos Mouzeviris
2021-06-17 06:57:17
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There have been questions surrounding the morality of Greece’s use of sound cannons (long range acoustic devices- LRADs) against migrants recently at Greece’s border with Turkey, which have been brought up both by the EU and by various rights groups.

chrmm001_400“This is an odd way to protect your borders. This is nothing that has been funded by the European Commission. And I do hope that this is in line with fundamental rights – but that of course has to be clarified,” EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson said of the issue, in a Brussels meeting with the Greek Minister of Migration and Asylum, Notis Mitarakis.

So, let me get this straight. The EU, many of Greece's partners and numerous Western NGOs (the legality of some of the latter is questionable, as their legitimacy to dictate a sovereign state what to do with its own borders and affairs), are concerned about Greece's efforts to protect its own borders. The same Europe that is not willing to help Greece and tackle this "crisis", which has been going on since 2015. That is 6 years already, and all the EU is doing, is handing out cash to maintain the overcrowded refugee camps in Greece.

The same Europe that refuses to agree and take in more refugees from Greece, equally distributing them among its member states. The same Europe with infantile foreign policy and influence in the world, so that it cannot effectively lobby and convince its partners and allied nations, to take in more refugees. This is not Greece's only problem, nor Turkeys, or Europe's, but a global one. So why there isn't there an appropriate response?

This is the same Europe, that insists on keeping Switzerland in the Schengen Agreement, although this country is repeatingly causing problems with the freedom of movement of EU citizens, an agreement which it was keen to sign, until the EU started expanding to the East. If the block decides to go ahead with the accession of more countries, will Switzerland vote in favor in the next referendum on the expansion of Schengen? This is the same Europe, that allows three of its member states (France, Denmark and the Netherlands) to unfairly keep blocking the accession in the free movement zone of another three members (Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania), in fear of the influx of migrants from these countries, or refugees passing through them.

This is the same Europe that has paid Turkey 3 billion euros since 2015, in order to convince the country to keep the refugees there, with a renewed promise of EU membership. Something of course that it knows that will never uphold, as it does really want Turkey as a member state. While perhaps it could spend the same amount, in facilitating the processing and distribution of these people, throughout Europe and its close partners.

The same Europe that allows Denmark to export the problem, since recently it passed a law enabling it to process asylum seekers outside Europe. The new bill will allow Denmark to move refugees from Danish soil to asylum centres in a partner country for case reviews and possibly their protection in that country. Rwanda is one of the concidered receiving nations. Denmark, one of the richest nations of the block, apparently finds it difficult to deal with the refugees in its own borders, while Greece, an indepted nation and one of the poorest, is expected by some to become Europe's dumping ground for the unwanted migrants and refugees.

 chrmm002_400This is the Europe that is too slow to abandon the unfair Dublin III Regulation. A creation of the '90s and the aftermath of the war in Yugoslavia and elsewhere, it stubbornly remained in place until today, although it has been slightly changed, with every new European country joining. It dictates that the first member state where finger prints are stored or an asylum claim is lodged, is responsible for a person's asylum claim. Basically turning the refugee crisis, a Greek, Maltese, Cypriot, Italian and Spanish problem, while the rich northern European nations, can wash their hands on the issue.

Thus the wealthy EU states, in many cases former colonial powers, while they are so keen to keep the humanitarian agenda part of EU's strategy, to satisfy their guilt complex of their own actions and racism of the past, they are unhappy that Greece which has been struggling with this issue for 6 years among other things (bailing out the German and French banks, Turkey's aggression, eurozone crisis etc) is doing what it can to protect Europe's borders.

But they are not unhappy that human beings are being used as a bargaining chip by Turkey, to blackmail the EU for more cash or an accession to the club. They are not botherd by the fact that many of these people are not actuall refugees, but economic migrants, seeking a better life in Europe. However to achieve their goal, they are falling victims of exploitation by smugglers that for a hefty payment, will try and assist the migrants to cross into Europe. And if things go wrong and people drown, so be it. The more Europe tolerates this kind of illegal immigration, the more it will keep happening. Once people from poor countries know that they can be successful in their pursue of their dream life in Europe, such practices will never stop.

"No human is illegal," claim many Western liberals, "let them all in". But "in" where, just in Greece, Spain and Italy? How do they see this unfolding, since in reality Europe has had enough and is clearly not willing to accept any more migrants. One of the main reasons that the UK has left the EU, was the immigration issue. Many Eastern/Central European states (Hungary, Poland, the Baltics etc), shamelessly refuse to assist and accomodate more refugees/migrants and Europe is struggling to keep the Far-Right from gaining (even more) power and getting elected as government in many of European states. I think that the European Liberals need a reality check on the situation, in order not to lose the plot entirely.

"We fight populism and fascism," many that have adopted this "ideology" claim, however they forget or fail to see that the "fascists" they are fighting, do not wear uniform and swastikas anymore. They are the ordinary people that are tired of the neo-liberal agenda that the EU and most European governments have adopted, they are their family members, colleagues and their friends, who lost their jobs in the process and take their frustration out on the migrants. Because when it is hard to make ends meet, when you struggle financially and your family, education and career prospects seem to be hard to accomplish, you really do not want to see billions spent, in keeping away, or allowing in and accomodating hundrends of thousands of citizens of poorer nations from far away.

While most of the West's progressives view them as "tin foil hat wearers", "populists" and uneducated, they forget one thing: they can vote, they have the right to do so in a functioning democracy. And when you ignore them, they will keep casting their ballots in favor of so called "populist parties".

Thus, the solution of "letting everybody in", to show a facade of humanitarianism and progressive mentality to the world, just to atone themselves for the attrocities that Europeans committed upon their fellow humans in the past, either on European soil in the numerous bloody wars, or one of their colonies, does not really make sense in the long term. You cannot force this view on the majority, and it is clear that Europe deep down is a conservative, nationalistic continent still. The EPP's (European People's Party) dominance in the European Parliament confirms that.

The bulk of Europeans, are attached and identify with their region or nation first, while fewer as European or citizens of the world. If we try to push for the "erosion" of their identity (as they see it) too fast and too far, soon the European project and dream itself will be in jeopardy, if the EU loses another member or the voters increasingly opt out for a Far-Right political party in a substantial number of EU member states. I for one, would not want to risk the reversal of the freedom of movement in our continent, just to satisfy the pretentious notion of humanitarian self righteousness of the European elites.

If they really need to solve the issue, they should seriously consider other options. In a discussion with a Tunisian migrant in Ireland in the past, he expressed his contempt towards Europeans. He asked me if I was a European myself before he expressed his opinion.I replied with a "yes" obviously, since Europe is part of my identity. However I hinted my sympathy for countries like his and that helped him to open up. He described how European and Western companies are settling in his country to exploit its resources, yet only Europeans can take high-paid jobs in them and the Tunisian locals, can only get those that pay less.

I agreed with him about the unfair way that globalisation is designed and operating. Europe and America are still dominating and exploiting the World's poorer nations, often burdening them with debt still deriving from the colonial era. As we have seen in the Greek treatment by Europe during the eurozone crisis, debt can also be passed from the banks, to the weakest economies of the Western world. America is the base of all major Financial Rating Agencies in the West, making of course the criteria for financial evaluation or a region or country, utterly biased. The AngloSaxon and Protestant ethos and mentality prevails and decides which country is being ranked better and favored, making it easier for nations with similar values with that of the US, to avail themselves favorable loan terms.

There is little doubt that European nations, are scrabbling for those terms from the US government or agencies. "Atlanticism", is the political ideology that many Europeans and Americans are adopting, to describe the unbreakable reliance and allegiance of Europe towards the US in just about everything: military, finance, politics and influence in the world. However, a toxic example of this "royalty," is the case of Denmark.

The country's secret service helped the US spy on European politicians including German Chancellor Angela Merkel from 2012 to 2014, Danish media revelaved recently. The Defence Intelligence Service (FE) collaborated with the US National Security Agency (NSA) to gather information, according to Danish public service broadcaster DR. Intelligence was allegedly collected on other officials from Germany, France, Sweden and Norway. One has to only wonder, what did the Danes got back in exchange: a blind eye for money laundering Russian dirty money into the West, via the Danske Bank scandal?Better treatment and image in the US and European media? Favorable ratings of their economy from the US based rating agencies perhaps? Or maybe being untouchable from the IMF and the Western loan sharks, or from any criticism for exporting and off-loading their refugee problem onto Africa?

If the US encourages unfair competition among EU member states, how much can we expect a true "union" among European countries, since its progress can always be controlled, manipulated and influenced by America? Furthermore, if the Americans are having this approach towards their "allies", imagine what they do to those who they stand in the way of the Atlanticists' world dominance.

There is a fairer world to be had, if Europe realized that it will be for its own benefit too. Why can't the West invest in poorer countries, rather have them hooked on aid? If we build factories in Bangladesh, do we really must pay the local workers just a few cents per hour as the labour market there requires, instead of a higher salary. It will still be profitable for Western companies, as they will pay them less comparing with European employees, but higher than the pennies which they receive right now. Hasn't the capitalist system had enough of human exploitation yet?

Could we source their educated youths and have them working in their own country, but in Western companies, with equal pay as the European and American counterparts, that move there to seek employment opportunities? Perhaps this will encourage them to stay back home, instead getting on a boat to reach European shores, with all the headache that brings for Europeans.

If we continue exploiting their natural resources for as little as possible, destabilize their countries with coups, civil wars in order to establish a favorable regime that will cooperate with the Atlanticists, then how do we really expect this "refugee crisis", or "humanitarian emergency" to ever end, since we are the ones causing it? Why the West must dominate and dictate everyone else on their affairs, and to so so, it creates and promotes this self image of righteousness and correctness on human rights that all must aspire to and follow, which clearly is a facade, or at least seriously flawed.

First you topple an unfavored "regime" in a country, then you establish a "democratic" one of your own preference, in order to have another puppet state and government, willing to grant you all the favors. Naturally, there will be a mess in the whole process, with thousands displaced or dead. Because often, that is what all these efforts to promote "democracy" across the world are about. A democratic regime is easier to manipulate, than an authoritarian. All you have to do is to get a hold of the nation's media, to brainwash the public opinion, then let the voters cast their ballot based on their misplaced, utterly confused opinion. We have seen in the case of Rupert Murdoch, how easy this is, if you got the money. And the West does.

Obviously we then sanction and condemn anyone like Russia and China, who are copying us and are doing exactly the same thing, in regions of their own interests. This world would be a better place, if all the aforementioned "powers", would stop competing they way they do, and realize that everyone would benefit if they started cooperating. The smaller states get crushed by their power games and personally, I do not give a damn about who wins this tug-of-war. As long I do not see the IMF ravaging countries, people having to pay the debt created by those gamblers in Wall Street, or human dignity being diminished in boats trying to cross the Mediterranean.

To conclude, not all is lost for the Atlanticists. Under the Biden Administration's leadership in the US, the G-7 group of nations have publicly endorsed a global minimum corporate tax of at least 15% last Friday, one piece of a broader agreement to update international tax laws for a globalized, digital economy. The leaders also announced a plan to replace Digital Services Taxes, which targeted the biggest American tech companies, with a new tax plan linked to the places where multinationals are actually doing business, rather than where they are headquartered. For the Biden administration, the Global Minimum Tax plan represents a concrete step towards its goal of creating what it calls a “foreign policy for the middle class.”

If this plan is endorsed and not sabotaged by European tax havens like Ireland and the Netherlands, it could be a step forward for a fairer world, or least the Western part of it. It remains to be seen if this "fairness" trickles down to all the globe, or the interests of a few spoiled and favored by the current system nations like Ireland, which could lose €2bn a year under the proposed reforms-a fifth of its corporate tax revenue, prevail.


      
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