Looks can certainly be deceiving. Take the seven-meter-high barrier between Morocco and Spain’s North Africa enclave. How could such a small wall change so much in a person’s life?
Well, just ask Keita Mohammed, a migrant from Mali. He crossed the deserts of Algeria to make it into Europe.
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“The only reason why we move to Europe is because we have to. Economically, logistically, technologically Europe is very strong. Politically, and I would say even morally they have the head.”
Keita’s perspective is poignant these days, as immigration is a sizzling topic in the upcoming EU elections.
In France, the National Front has its eyes on 25 seats in the European Parliament. In UK, voters are expected to place the anti-immigration, anti-EU UKIP ahead of other mainstream parties on Election Day.
And in Germany, which is overwhelmed by migrants, the country’s Interior Minister, Thomas De Maziere said, “The number of immigrants from Bulgaria and Romania and the social problems linked to some of them can be managed nationally, but in certain regions it is alarming, and the rise in numbers is alarming. So we must take measures to avoid this becoming a problem for the whole of Germany.”
However, for other countries, it’s a little more intricate…
Not Quite a Black and White Issue
There are some grey areas… You see, in Britain, immigrants pay more into the economy than they actually take out. But for Germany and France… it’s a net drain. That’s all thanks to higher pension payouts to German immigrants from the former Soviet bloc and the older-than-average immigrant community in France.
There are also fears of a mass wave of immigrants from Bulgaria and Romania.
A native Bulgarian physician, Dr. Kapriel Kappreljan, points out that the immigrants were previously there. The only difference is that they were probably working illegally… until January 1, that is. After that benchmark, they were permitted legal employment. In other words, this “big wave” from Bulgaria and Romania is nothing more than a big illusion.
On the more extreme side, you have new fringe parties like Greece’s Golden Dawn, along with other extremist groups from Holland and Austria, which are responding to the aftershock of the debt crisis. These groups have managed to gather a huge following by coupling two issues: immigration and opposition to the EU.
So right now, the EU looks like a mix of cats and dogs… All voters can do is make sure their voices are heard. At this point, it seems likely that the Union will see some changes.
In Pursuit of the Truth,
Capitol Hill Daily Research