UPDATE: In the end, it went to the National Dialogue Quartet in Tunisia. But why was Merkel even in the running? For bringing social devastation to Europe and exacerbating a refugee crisis that is causing mayhem across the continent?
This article was first cross-posted for The Commentator
Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King were all worthy winners of the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize. Founded by Alfred Nobel, the award is supposedly bestowed on the person, or organisation, who has carried out the “best work for fraternity between nations, the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”
If this is the case, then one can only wonder why German Chancellor Angela Merkel, dominator of Europe, has been made the bookies favourite to win this year’s award on Friday morning.
Trying to tug on the heart strings of the general public, images of refugees searching for safety outside Syria have made daily front pages around Europe throughout the summer. These are the images which have helped make Merkel the front-runner for this prestigious prize, branding her a saint and saviour of the refugees. The truth, however, is the opposite.
Merkel’s ‘everyone welcome’ open-door policy — sending nearly a million migrants travelling across the continent by any means necessary — has created tensions among the member states of the European Union. We are often told the EU has prevented conflicts; that it was founded to prevent friction between Germany and its neighbours after the Second World War.
Yet, when Merkel decided to be ‘superwoman’ of the world, closed borders began to be reinstated and nations which have been working together within the Union for decades started to fall out. It’s doubtful the Schengen Agreement will ever recover.
The breakdown of international relationships should be strike one against Merkel’s nomination. Strike two, the unknown vast number of migrant deaths following her open invitation to settle in Germany.
Rushing across the continent and the seas, thousands of migrants are drowning in the Mediterranean. They’ve been suffocated in lorries by the side of the road and have been electrocuted walking through the Channel Tunnel.
These deaths could have been prevented. Instead of making dictator-like decisions without giving a thought to the implications it had on others, the German Chancellor could have helped those migrants who needed it most — those in the UN camps set up on the Syrian border.
The final strike — Merkel’s lack of planning. All of this should put her outside the running for this prize.
To repeat, we are now becoming almost inured to seeing images of fleeing migrants, as well as the unfortunate dead. What seems to have been hidden from the news agenda, however, are pictures of the migrants once they arrive at their desired destination. In September alone, 200,000 arrived in Germany.
Where are these people to stay? The numbers are much larger than the infrastructure can handle. Make-shift centres are popping up in towns and cities around Germany, but with winter on its way and temperatures which reliably drop below freezing in parts of Northern Germany, migrants will have to prepare to fight the dire conditions on their own.
A spokesperson for the refugee organisation Moabit Hilft! was quoted in the International Business Times criticising, “an utter failure from the state.”
He went on to add that unpaid volunteers are being relied on to do, “the job of the state — with our own money and in our own free time.” Germany’s infrastructure, its health and education systems and Chancellor Merkel, along with the rest of Europe were totally unprepared for such a huge influx of migrants.
The situation is a mess, with millions more said to be fleeing a broken Syria after Vladimir Putin’s bombing campaign began in support of President Assad.
And this is not to mention the other problems created by Merkel for the European Union. The good people of Greece who have found themselves struggling to make ends meet, will not be celebrating if she wins the prize.
But let’s not forget that this would not be the first time the Nobel Peace Prize has been handed over to someone who has created turmoil in Europe. In 2012, you may recall, the European Union itself received the award for, ‘the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.’
Ironically, the award presentation followed with statements from bureaucratic, unelected commissioners, months after a Neo-Nazi upsurge in Greece, bailout after bailout, and the rise of Eurosceptic parties such as UKIP. Europe was anything but peaceful; economically, socially and politically.
Maybe the centre-right Nobel chairwoman, Kaci Kullmann Five will decide against handing over the award to Merkel, but it is looking unlikely. It’s true, Merkel did offer a safe haven to hundreds of thousands of migrants, but it wasn’t her haven to give out. It was the people of Europe’s.
Instead of creating a peaceful Europe, she has caused tension and economic unrest. If these are the attributes of a prize winner, the Nobel Committee should be ashamed of itself. We must Get Britain Out of the EU as soon as possible.