Something unusual is happening in the European Union. Confronted with a flood of refugees from the Middle East, leaders from every corner of the EU are literally chanting in unison that this «erupting crisis» will destroy the union at any minute.
The President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, has called the crisis «a political earthquake at European level». The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, believes that the European Union faces economic decline and that the «love affair» of integration is at risk for new countries. Slovenian Prime Minister Miroslav Cerar has warned that «[i]f we don’t find a solution today [for the migrant crisis]... I believe the EU and Europe as a whole will start falling apart». Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has announced that the crisis «could tear apart the fabric that binds our cooperation...»
Angela Merkel’s voice can also be heard in this assembled chorus: «If Europe fails on the question of refugees, then it won’t be the Europe we wished for».
The barricades erected at the EU’s external borders and the artificially created masses of people thronging in front of checkpoints only reinforce the suspicions that we are actually witnessing the staging of a massive theatrical production.
Here are a few numbers for reference. The population of all 28 EU member states reached 507 million in 2014. Even given the most pessimistic projections, no more than two million migrants will enter Europe in the next two years, which works out to a ratio of one (or fewer) refugee per every 250 native-born Europeans. In comparison, look at Great Britain, which – reaping the fruits of its colonial history – was forced to accept the largest number of migrants in Europe from its former colonies. Currently, half a million of the 63 million citizens of the British Isles are immigrants. In other words, that equals one immigrant for every 120 indigenous Brits. Immigrants tend to live in close-knit communities that occupy specific niches in the UK economy, and there are no visible problems that have disrupted British society.
So why has such commotion erupted in the EU?
The objections raised by Europe’s politicians all center around the claim that the economies of the EU member states cannot bear the financial strain of these uninvited guests. Without citing numbers, they claim that Europe cannot afford to admit, resettle, acclimate to their new surroundings, and find employment for all the newcomers. This is their central argument. If religious, cultural, or other factors are mentioned at all, it is only as a footnote.
In order to arrive at even an approximate understanding of what is actually happening, take a look at the policy of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
When dealing with the refugees, Merkel initially expressed willingness to admit all of them, but then began favoring some restrictive measures, which has created tension. Why did she do this? After all, her fundamental position – to open the door to most refugees while excluding economic migrants – has not changed. But it’s one thing to admit someone who is well-fed and happy, and another to take in a person who has been sapped of strength and is willing to accept any offer. Because it is slowly becoming evident that this characterization serves several goals simultaneously.
Merkel intends to shift the costs of admitting these wretched masses from the federal government onto the local communities, and she needs a «humanitarian disaster» in order to make those communities agree to shell out the money. But it is not the German chancellor alone who is responsible for such a snow job, but also the leaders of other major EU states. Naturally, this vision of the future is raising howls from those communities, and this is truly a difficult situation for them, but it turns out that European bureaucrats also need that wail to be as loud as possible.
Is it possible that we are exaggerating?
It turns out that the German chancellor has no money in the federal coffers. Germany is subject to the «black zero» edict of its finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, under which the country has zero public debt. Hence this approach: the budget has been allocated, there is no money left over, the state will not take on any debt, so the individual German states and communities must be responsible for taking care of the refugees.
But under this approach, the refugees will never be acclimated to life in Germany. They will not get a solid education, be able to find professional work, or have access to social services or healthcare. On the contrary, most of them will end up working on the «untamed labor market», the absence of which the «German welfare state» has long pointed to with pride. And the most entrepreneurial of them will fill the ranks of criminal gangs.
The following was written by Axel Troost, a Bundestag deputy from the party Die Linke: «Children and young people in the EU have been the biggest losers in the crisis. According to a study by the Bertelsmann Foundation, 26 million youth are at risk of poverty and social marginalization. Therefore, this EU policy increases the danger of a battle for survival between native-born young people and immigrants... The state needs to part with the ‘black zero’ rule and take out billions of euros in loans in order to cover the most urgent needs. We demand an immediate, 25-billion-euro program to improve the state’s ability to meet its own social commitments... to provide 10 billion euros of urgent assistance to municipalities... to help them render initial assistance to the refugees; eight billion euros to develop a special federal program to build 500,000 apartments for low-income individuals and refugees; and seven billion euros to develop a program of free vocational and language training, integration... and social counseling centers... The federal government must be fully responsible for the initial assistance offered to refugees... In the future, the state should shoulder the costs of the entire procedure for granting asylum».
However, the ruling coalition is not showing any willingness to take this route. Moreover, it is foundering amid contradictions, foisting its own duties onto the states. Indeed, neither Germany nor any other EU countries want to do anything on the Bundestag deputy’s list.
One is almost forced to conclude that the ruckus being raised by the EU’s leaders must be intended to prepare the public for an artificially created deterioration of the status quo. But to what end?
To answer that question, look back 15 years, to when negotiations between the biggest corporations in the West over what was known as the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) were derailed by opposition from civic groups. The agreement was intended to endow transnational corporations with the same legal status as that enjoyed by nation states. In practice, it would have entirely eliminated a state’s ability to regulate the economy and destroyed the collective agreements in the EU that safeguard workers’ rights. The draft agreement was eventually scuttled after resistance from the public and parliaments. Now a new attempt is being made to achieve the same goal, using the Americans’ proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Prioritizing the rights of investors over the laws enacted by individual countries would legally enshrine the supranational authority of the largest corporations, giving them uncontested clout.
It is worth remembering that a few years ago the European Union was bested by the WTO in a conflict over genetically modified foods. And the WTO ruled that the EU must pay tens of millions of euros in fines for banning the use of growth hormones in animals being raised for meat. The WTO is just one of the tools used by the largest corporations to expand their control over global trade. And the TTIP agreement perfects those tools.
There are obvious reasons why multinational corporations are exerting such pressure: they are safeguarding themselves against the risk of the collapse of a financial and economic system based on the dollar. However, the architects of the crisis have learned a good lesson from that failure of 15 years ago. Now the citizens of the EU are being thoroughly drilled to believe that the TTIP will be their salvation. Hence the surge in the influx of refugees into Europe, the foot-dragging on a peaceful settlement in Syria, and the tension being foisted onto European society.
The TTIP is scheduled to be signed and take effect in late 2016. That’s when one can expect to see the biggest surge in the wave of protests. Those who are steering Europe into the embrace of the Transatlantic Partnership are also gearing up to counter this wave. A classical theatrical production is being staged, in which public attention is distracted by the artificially created «refugee problem», and the signing of the agreement will be presented as the way out of this difficult economic situation.
You may be asking, but what about the leaders of the European nations? Those leaders are playing the roles assigned to them by their overseas puppeteer.