- According to France’s Defense Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, 800,000 migrants are currently in Libyan territory waiting to cross the Mediterranean.
- The multitude of very costly social problems that Muslim migration into Europe has caused thus far, do not exist in this whitewashed European Union report, where the “research” indicates that migrants are always a boon. Similarly, any mention of the very real security costs necessitated by the Islamization occurring in Europe, and the need for monitoring of potential jihadists, simply goes unmentioned.
- Several European states have a less optimistic picture of the prospect of another three million migrants arriving on Europe’s borders than either the Pope or the European Commission do.
“It is true that Austria is under huge pressure… It is true they are overwhelmed. But, on the other hand, there are some principles and laws that all countries must respect and apply… The Austrians are obliged to accept asylum applications without putting a cap.”In response, Austria’s Chancellor Werner Faymann told the EU that Austria could not just let the influx of migrants continue unchecked — nearly 100,000 have applied for asylum in Austria — and he called for the EU to act. The EU has not yet acted. The EU should hardly be surprised that a sovereign state decides to take matters into its own hands in the face of the EU’s failure to heed that call, and as it anticipates a repeat of last year’s migration chaos — which, given the predicted estimates, is bound to occur this year with even greater force. Predictably, Italy has also criticized the decision, with Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano saying that Austria’s decision to erect the barrier is “unexplainable and unjustifiable.” Italy, however, only has itself to blame for Austria’s restrictions at the Brenner Pass. In 2014 and the first half of 2015, around 300,000 migrants arrived in Italy, mainly from Libya. Despite EU rules that require Italy to register those migrants, Italy simply let most of them pass through the country and continue into Austria. From there, most went further into Germany and Northern Europe. Clearly, Austria does not expect the Italians to change their practices. [caption id="attachment_58556" align="alignnone" width="600"] Austrian police prepare to hold the line at the Brenner Pass border crossing with Italy, as a crowd tries to break through during a violent protest on April 3, 2016, against Austria’s introduction of border controls to stem the flow of migrants. (Image source: RT video screenshot)[/caption] While the bureaucrats of the EU bicker with their member states over those states’ unwillingness to follow EU regulations — evidently not made to cope with a migration crisis of these huge proportions — Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan is threatening to drop his obligations under a recent EU-Turkey migration deal. Those obligations include taking back all new “irregular migrants” crossing from Turkey into Greek islands, as well as taking any necessary measures to prevent the opening of new sea or land routes for migration from Turkey to the EU. “There are precise conditions. If the European Union does not take the necessary steps, then Turkey will not implement the agreement,” Erdogan warned recently in a speech in Ankara. Erdogan knows that in the current European reality, his words have the effect he intends: When he threatens to flood Europe with migrants unless it does what he wants — in other words, blackmail — EU leaders will do what he says. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, one of the driving forces behind the EU-Turkey deal, also recently bowed to Erdogan’s demands that Germany prosecute the satirist Jan Böhmermann, after he mocked and insulted the Turkish president in a poem. The German criminal code prohibits insults against foreign leaders, but leaves it to the government to decide whether to authorize prosecutors to pursue such cases. Angela Merkel gave her authorization, a decision widely criticized. Her own ministers — Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and Justice Minister Heiko Maas — said they did not believe that the authorization should have been granted. Another indication that Erdogan has no reason to fear any misbehavior on the part of the European Union regarding the EU-Turkey deal is that the European Parliament just voted in favor of making Turkish an official European Union language. Ostensibly, the vote came about in order to back an initiative by the president of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, who asked the Dutch EU Presidency to add Turkish to the bloc’s 24 official languages in order to boost attempts to reach a reunification agreement for Cyprus. In his letter to the EU presidency, Anastasiades noted that Cyprus had already filed a similar request during its EU entry talks in 2002, but, at that time, it “was advised by the [EU] institutions not to insist, taking into account the limited practical purpose of such a development … as well as the considerable cost”. Turkey’s occupation of northern Cyprus, which Turkey invaded in 1974, is one of the issues blocking Turkey’s accession negotiations with the EU. Making Turkish an official language is seen by Turkey, according to a senior Turkish official, as “a very important, very positive gesture” for the Cyprus peace talks and for EU-Turkish ties more broadly. “If the blockage is lifted because of Cyprus being solved, then we can proceed very quickly,” the Turkish official said. All of the other official and working languages of the European Union are tied to states which are full members of the EU. Although the vote has to be approved by the European Commission before the decision can come into effect, it speaks volumes about the EU’s deference to Erdogan. In light of these developments, the granting of visa-free travel to European Union states for 80 million Turks looks as if it is a done deal, despite the 72 conditions, which Turkey, at least on paper, is expected to live up to. These include increasing the use of biometric passports and other technical requirements. So far, Turkey has only met half of these conditions. Perhaps that is why European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker recently felt the need to mention that, “Turkey must fulfill all remaining conditions so that the Commission can adopt its proposal in the coming months. The criteria will not be watered down.” The question is whether Juncker himself even believes his own words. With the provisions on visa-free travel for 80 million Turks, the EU may just have gone from the frying pan into the fire. The visa-free admission of Turks into Europe would give Erdogan completely free rein to control the influx of migrants into Europe. Moreover, anyone believing that Erdogan would not take great advantage of this opportunity would have to be dangerously naïve. The European Union may yet conclude that the migrant crisis, in all its enormity, is the far lesser evil.
Judith Bergman is a writer, columnist, lawyer and political analyst.Source: GATESTONE]]>