This blog was first posted on The Commentator.
European officials finally came up with a plan to deal with the migrant crisis. Unfortunately, it appears the plan itself requires the sacrifice of a member state: Greece.
Last week, it was suggested that unless the Greek government makes significant improvements to its efforts to control its borders, then the country should be kicked out of the Schengen zone. The means by which this would be implemented are far from clear.
There is no official process for removing a nation from the Schengen zone, and it remains to be seen if the proposal entails a ceremonial removal or the strengthening of the borders of Schengen countries to the north. Worryingly for the Greek government, the proposal is said to have the support of the President of the Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker — himself an expert on border control from his experience of running the 192 miles of Luxembourg’s borders.
By changing the boundaries of an EU Member State, the EU will clearly be restricting the rights of ordinary Greeks to travel throughout the EU. Not content with this, the European Commission also wants Greece to establish vast holding camps for the hundreds of thousands of ‘refugees’ who enter the EU through its territory.
The Greek government is, understandably, very upset about this idea, warning the proposal would turn the country into a “cemetery of souls.”
Quite where the Greek government is expected to find the funds to increase its border force to control its 8,498 miles of coastline — or to pay for the establishments of these huge refugee camps — is not being considered by the Commission. Greece is currently in financial difficulties, and the refugee crisis has already done significant damage to tourism, the main source of the country’s income.
Germany, the EU’s richest member state, has itself struggled to manage the migrant crisis Merkel brought on her own country. How Greece’s 11 million population — already suffering severe austerity measures — will be able to support the 850,000 migrants who arrived last year, let alone the thousands more predicted for this year, is clearly not being seriously taken into account.
The Greek government has recently lost all fiscal autonomy to its German creditors – who have already helped themselves to £35.4 billion of Greek government assets. It seems rather unfair to demand they sort out the mess created by the EU and Angela Merkel on their own.
The Greeks, quite rightly, feel aggrieved at this attempt to lay the blame for the crisis within Schengen zone at their door. After all, it was German Chancellor Angela Merkel who suspended the Dublin Accord — the procedure which governs the processing of asylum seekers — with her invitation to the Syrian people to apply directly to Germany for asylum there.
Greece was perfectly entitled to wave through would-be asylum seekers on their epic journey to the German ‘Promised Land’. Now Merkel — who has enjoyed all the applause from do-gooders around the world — is beginning to recognise the folly of extending an open invitation to the Syrian people. The Greeks are now the sacrificial lambs — being told they must do much more to halt the flow of migrants, which Merkel did so much to encourage.
Greeks are undoubtedly concerned by the prospect of vast refugee camps set up across the breadth of their country and islands. Following the New Year attacks in Cologne and elsewhere in Europe, fears for the safety and rights of Greek women as well as tourists are understandable.
Many Greeks will be wondering why their country should be seen as an ideal ‘holding pen’ for large numbers of mostly male ’asylum seekers’. They may very well come to the conclusion that the European Commission has simply resorted to the age old tactic: ‘Out of sight out of mind’!
Coming on top of the sense of injustice felt by the Greek government, the Turkish government is now demanding even more financial aid from the EU — just a few months after their original €3 billion (£2.3 billion) migration deal.
It is almost unbelievable. If there is one country which can be accused of doing little to prevent the flood of migrants into Europe, then it’s Turkey. So far, the EU has seen a paltry return on the €3 billion of blackmail money it paid to Turkey to reduce the flood of migrants into Europe.
The Commission — like all playground bullies — recognises it is far easier to go after the weaker target, with Turkey’s President Erdogan being a tougher cookie than the rather hapless Alexis Tsipras.
This all points to the determination of the EU to establish border controls and make sure the Schengen zone stays intact. Such a step reveals this ‘European Project’ to be a disaster and no better than its predecessors.
Europe has witnessed many empires strive to control the continent from the Ancient Romans to the totalitarian regimes of the 20th century. Many of these established border zones on the extremities of their empires, imposed to protect the imperial heartlands.
The EU has long claimed to be different from these past Empires – striving for the greater goals of European peace and solidarity: a Pax Europa so to speak. The current actions of the EU towards Greece have revealed this to be a complete sham.
We must Get Britain Out of the EU as soon as possible to restore our national sovereignty and independence; and resist the huge imperial ambitions emanating from Brussels.