TOWARDS A FORTRESS EUROPE? OR ANGELA MERKEL'S FOLLY
"Nervous governments in central and south-east Europe tightened their borders and lashed out at each other on Friday, as fears grew that tens of thousands of migrants could be stranded in the Balkans. In the latest sign that the migrant crisis has led to a breakdown in European co-ordination and solidarity, Croatia closed seven out of eight road crossings from Serbia and sought to bus some of the 15,000 migrants already on its territory to Hungary, even as Budapest reinforced the border between the two countries. Almost all of the migrants have poured into Croatia from Serbia since Hungary, previously a key transit country, effectively closed its own Serbian border on Tuesday. In the intervening three days, Croatia has shifted from its previous welcoming stance and officials have confessed themselves overwhelmed. “We cannot register and accommodate these people any longer,” said Zoran Milanovic, Croatia’s prime minister. “They will get food, water and medical help, and then they can move on. The EU must know that Croatia will not become a migrant hotspot. We have hearts, but we also have heads.” But a bottleneck was forming on Friday as Croatia’s neighbours to the north and west threw up new barriers to prevent a migrant inflow."Neil Buckley in Budapest, Duncan Robinson, Daniel Dombey, "Croatia shuts borders as it is overwhelmed by influx of migrants". The Financial Times. 18 September 2015, in www.ft.com
We liberals need to argue from Europe’s self-interest: our continent has the need, the space and the ability to accept people. Here’s the pragmatic manifesto for welcoming refugees into Europe.Simon Kuper, "Why we should welcome migrants". The Financial Times. 11 September 2015, in www.ft.com.
"'I am not a sentimental man', said Constantius, 'but I love the wall'. Think of it, mile upon mile, from snow to desert, a single great girdle round the civilized world; inside, peace, decency, the law, the altars of the Gods, industry, the arts, order; outside, wild beasts, and savages, forest and swamp, bloody mumbo-jumbo, men like wolf-packs; and along the wall the armed might of the Empire, sleepless, holding the line'".Evelyn Arthur St. John Waugh. Helena. (1950), p. 43. One does not have to be an enthusiast for the somewhat morally and politically questionable Magyar Premier Orban to agree with his often-proclaimed statements that it is both dangerous and mindless to allow the current situation of hordes of refugee / economic migrant influx to proceed without any controls. The fact of the matter is that in the past forty to forty-five years, Europe has shown almost no taste or skill in assimilating the existing ten to twelve million third-world immigrants. To have tout à coup., over one million (which in short order will grow to two to four million) migrants land up on the shores of Europe is a recipe for sheer disaster and unmitigated disaster. That may perhaps be a pessimistic way of looking at the matter, but it is an unfortunate but cogent fact. Does one need to bring to mind the riots in Paris and London of a few years ago? Or the mini-riots which take place regularly in the suburbs of Sweden? Where Molotov cocktails are regularly used? Or the massacre in Paris earlier this year? Not to speak of the (by now) thousand or so, Muslims residing in Europe who have joined the madmen of ISIS 1? The question answers itself. Notwithstanding, liberal, bien-pensants like Simon Kuper who, ostrich-like, prefer to ignore the harsh reality all around him (in both Paris and London by the bye!). The uncontrolled influx of these hordes of third-world migrants, of course being the unintended result of German Premier, Angela Merkel's completely unnecessary and in retrospect ultra-dangerous decision to process any and all 'refugees' who enter the Federal Republic of Germany. Notwithstanding the fact that this coup de theatre, was completely at variance with existing European Union policy as well as being positively wrongheaded. As the London Spectator's James Forsyth has correctly and aptly noted:
"Of all the irresponsible decisions taken in recent years by European politicians, few will cause as much human misery as Angela Merkel’s plan to welcome Syrian refugees to Germany. Hailed as enlightened moral leadership, it is in fact the result of panic and muddled thinking. Her pronouncements will lure thousands more into the hands of unscrupulous people-traffickers. Her insistence that the rest of the continent should share the burden will add political instability to the mix. Merkel has made a dire situation worse." 21. On the problems in assimilating the existing Muslim populations in Western Europe, see: Owen Bennett-Jones, 'We’ and ‘You’. The London Review of Books. 27 August 2015, in www.lrb.co.uk 2. James Forsyth, "Merkel’s grandstanding on Syrian refugees will lead to many more deaths at sea". The Spectator. 12 September 2015. p. 14. Also: www.spectator.co.uk