Letter to the editor: Who’s speaking for Europe?

  • 2015-12-16

Europe is facing an unprecedented illegal immigration crisis, but where’s the public discussion? We get only the official line from politicians in Brussels, a line increasingly out of touch with public sentiment.
We hear plenty about the rights of these illegal immigrants, fleeing trouble spots in north Africa, the Middle East, looking for safety, a better life. What about the rights of Europeans to protect their countries, their cultures, their future?
Who is speaking up for Europe? It certainly isn’t Angela Merkel or the rest of the mainstream political elite.

It’s no wonder fringe groups are gaining popularity as many feel politicians no longer speak for them. One blogger writes: “There is no rational discussion about the threat that this immigration entails. Just touchy feely news stories on TV and radio about the poor escapees and how they have suffered. Actually no open dialogue on the topic. Just insinuations or claims of racism against those who dare question this wholesale invasion of Europe.”

He adds: “There is no self-preservation instinct in Europe. It’s just let ‘em all in. It’s the right thing to do. No one saying enough is enough. No actual limitation in numbers contemplated. Maybe a wholesale transplant of everyone. Why not?”
Europe can’t solve the world’s problems, and certainly not by inviting these problems and conflicts into the EU. And what arrogance these illegal immigrants/refugees have in demanding their entry into Europe, and to even decide which country they’ll land in, and which country’s benefits they’ll have “rights” to.

Europe can’t, and shouldn’t try, to absorb these immigrants. It would be far better to spend these same resources to work to help solve the problems in the countries of origin of these people. This certainly means military involvement in places like Syria.
Several contributors to this paper, in recent issues, have called on Europe, and the Baltics in particular, to open up the borders and take in even more, calling on them to remember how, after WWII, the West opened up their borders to take in those refugees.

This is missing some key ingredients, such as, acceptance of Baltic refugees (Displaced Persons) was not automatic: there had to be sponsors in the receiving countries, those who vouched for the refugees and took responsibility for them. There were also no social or housing benefits awaiting them upon arrival. In other words, refugees had to prove that they wouldn’t be a burden on the accepting country, a far cry from what we see today. The DPs also held the same cultural and religious values as in their host countries, not the situation today.

Issues include first and foremost culture, religion. Like it or not, Europe is a Judeo-Christian community, built up over centuries. It now faces decline, in just a few decades. Anyone intent on living here first of all needs to understand Europe’s culture and history, and be willing to adopt and integrate into our Western value system. Does Islam promote these same values? Is it tolerantof other ideas?

The Baltic countries’ recent independence is a reason to be exempt from taking in any from this wave of immigration: the Baltics, after 50 years of Russian occupation, are still working to re-establish their own identities, cultures. This includes working to throw off the impact of Soviet Russian domination in all areas of life. The last thing they need is to introduce even more extreme religious and cultural influences such as those from the Middle East.
The costs for taking in these people are immense. Over one million will arrive in Europe this year. Next year probably more. Who pays? Where does the money come from? The Baltics are among the poorest of European nations. There is no money here for them. Social spending needs to focus on those in need here.
Europe also needs to end its generous social benefits system, which is a massive wealth transfer to these immigrants, and serves only to attract more.

Another hollow argument by those advocating taking in a million plus refugees is the great benefit they’ll bring in the way of skills. Most are unskilled. And what about the already high unemployment we see in Europe? If there’s no work for millions of Europeans, what will millions of refugees be doing?
It’s a sad situation in these conflict areas, and the global community certainly needs to show compassion, and to help. But to bring their problems to our shores is not the solution.

All of these refugees need to be returned to their homelands at some point soon. They need to work to improve conditions in their own countries. The West can help in this regard, if asked.
For an immediate solution why not use one of Spain’s exclaves in Morocco, for example, to house all of the illegals arriving to Europe? Refugee housing could be built in Ceuta, for example, where the refugees could be sent for processing and housing, then repatriated to their homelands (but not Europe). Those coming from conflict zones could remain longer until the situation at home is resolved. Why, for example, is France going to build a ‘humanitarian housing center’ in Calais, at a cost of millions, as announced by French Prime Minister Valls, to house those trying to break into the UK?
Once the illegals realize they won’t get free (and aided) passsage to Europe but instead will be sent to a holding center in north Africa, maybe they’ll think twice about risking the trip. Existing refugee centers in Jordan, Turkey need more help to absorb them. This needs to continue, but is a short term solution.

If the ‘Cueta’ location isn’t sufficient, a European outpost of several square kilometers, say in northeast Libya, could be established by the EU, by military action if needed, where this housing center could be set up.
It was EU Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos, I believe, who said recently that economic migrants in this wave of illegals will be returned. That’s a good start. Europe has an obligation to help immigrants where it can, but it doesn’t have an obligation to take in the refugees, economic, political or otherwise.

One needs only to travel through Europe today to witness the oncoming disaster: homeless families scattered around city centers, living and begging on the streets, parks, railway stations. It’s becoming a big slum and no one benefits.
Longer term, the influx of people holding extreme cultural and religious differences will do considerable damage to European cohesion and security, which is already showing strains. All the talk from liberal politicians is about European values; most of these immigrants don’t share our values, but are actually hostile to them. They’re not coming here to become ‘German.’ This will have negative long term implications for society.

One has only to look at centers of migrants today, such as the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, to see that most do not integrate, and end up living in separate communities. Europe has done poorly in enforcing integration.
How many of these immigrants are members of terrorist groups? Why are we letting them in? What future violence are they bringing? Haven’t we learned from Paris?
The global community (and specifically the inept UN) needs to work on solutions for these conflict regions, including military action.

EU politicians are doing a grave disservice, possibly even criminal negligence, to future generations. Do they have any united plans on this crisis?
It’s beyond belief there isn’t a common EU border defense guard. The flood of immigrants into Greece and Italy affect all of Europe, including us here in the Baltics.
Public policy needs to change immediately, with real solutions, both short and long term, to both help those refugees in need, but firstly to protect Europe and its citizens. Europe is not the world’s escape valve to take in everyone in trouble. A divided EU needs to get its act together before it destroys itself.

Stephan Eberhardt


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