Two deluded left-wing pro-migration aßholes may very well break EU in months
Crazy attitudes to the mass migration from the Muslim world keep on returning. Germany is Europe's strongest country and Angela Merkel is its leader. So many of the mistakes are naturally identified with Mutti Merkel. But I often think that other European leaders are more insane than she is – they're just less visible so they don't attract as much attention as Merkel does.
Just another shocking story: Kuwaiti investors built a luxurious village – with 160 $165,000 houses – where only Arabs (and janitors from other nations who learn the official language, Arabic) may enter. Mostly 3rd and 4th wives of sheikhs will live there. A problem is that it's been built 10 miles from Sarajevo: Google Maps. The investors claim that the land, including some beautiful Nature, was gifted to Arabs by Allah. News. Austria should better join the Visegrád Group and retake the failed state of Bosnia from the Muslims, like in 1878.
In fact, Merkel recently said that no one wants to repeat Germany's mistakes of 2015. Now, she is considering deportation of 200,000 failed asylum seekers. One doesn't have to be a principled conservative citizen to recommend her such things. In fact, old migrants demand the deportation of the new ones because the increasing number of migrants is lowering the living standards of the old ones.
(By the way, have you read the news about the Syrian man who is getting almost half a million dollars per year in welfare money for himself, four wives, and 22 or 23 children who live with him in several German houses? This story is so insane for so many reason. First, this guy should be immediately arrested or deported for polygamy which is illegal. Second, even if he is not, the "unofficial wives" should be getting their welfare subsidies directly, not through a man. Third, it's crazy to pay them anything, let alone big bucks, at all. They should be in a detention facility before they get an asylum and like in Czechia, they should pay for the services in the facility.)
I believe that the Greek and Italian governments are the actual engines of the most radically insane pro-migration mistakes that Europe keeps on doing.
Today, NewEurope.EU and TheNews.PL reported that the Italian prime minister Renzi as well as the Greek prime minister Tsipras plan to veto the 2017 EU budget because they want to make sure that the money no longer flows to the post-communist countries, especially the Visegrád Group members (PL+HU+CZ+SK) that refuse to embrace thousands of migrants as envisioned by the "migrant quotas".
It's late October 2016 and every sane European person who has followed the events knows that the basic views and plans of the Visegrád Group have been correct from the beginning. The open-door policy is unsustainable and has to be stopped at some moment. The closure of the external borders of the EU – or, if it fails, of its subsets or individual countries – has to be guaranteed (and at least temporarily and in the Balkans, it basically was adopted). To deny that this is a necessary part of any fix means to deny the pillars of reality.
Despite the diversity of their key interests and the accents in their presentations, the Visegrád Group countries are convinced that the migrant quotas are indefensible and dead as a political idea. They haven't worked. Almost no migrants were actually distributed according to this scheme – and the Visegrád Group members aren't the only ones that haven't embraced the planned number of migrants (by far). It's irrational as well as inhumane to distribute migrants as if they were a commodity. Different nations and regions have different abilities and levels of desire to embrace migrants; and the migrants have different desires to live in different countries and places. It's not like moving cows to several farms. (Even this forced transfer of cows may be considered cruel by animal activists but that's another story.)
One creates way too much tension at many places if he wants to impose some arbitrary bureaucratic would-be uniform distribution where the people should live. In the Visegrád Group, over 90% of citizens refuse any plans for a long-term settlement of a macroscopic number of new Muslim migrants. With certain details how to ask the question, the percentage may be as high as 98% in Czechia. The Czech government often seems to be the "most potentially pro-Brussels" government (i.e. the weakest link) among the Visegrád government – and the whole (small, relatively to the nation) community of the (left-wing intellectual) Prague café basically mimics the politically correct communities in the Western countries (both in Europe and in the U.S. and Canada). But that shouldn't make you forget that the Czech public as a whole is really the most staunchly anti-migrant nation in the group.
The Greek Bolshevik aßhole and his Italian socialist counterpart (also an aßhole) just want to ignore all facts, all experiences, all lessons that others have learned, all opinions of whole nations etc. and they want to distribute thousands of migrants according to some Bolshevik-socialist redistribution plans. If countries like mine will keep on disagreeing, they want to veto the budget.
Note that Czechia, Slovakia, and Hungary – along with Romania – were voting "against" when the quota were being considered one year ago. According to the latest "Lisbon" rules (where a majority is enough in some contexts), the highly contested vote was enough to adopt the policy except that none of us takes it seriously. Poland approved the quota under some pressure – because the old "more pro-EU" government was still in charge before their important elections. Because the old Polish government agreed to take some 7,000 migrants, Poland actually seems to be under an even heavier attack by these two PIGS' prime ministers than the rest of the Visegrád Group. Well, Poland is also larger and it gets the largest EU inflows in the absolute sense.
RAI 1 TV has shown Renzi saying the following:
We give 20bn [euros] to Europe so that we can get back 12. And if Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia want to preach at us about immigrants, allow Italy to say that the system is no longer working.Yes, we want to preach at you about immigration because folks like you, Mr Renzi, have screwed a lot (you have also explicitly breached lots of EU laws about the defense of the EU's external border and other things) while we were right and, in the case of Hungary, doing the right things. And yes, the EU system is no longer working – but its failure to work has very different reasons than you imagine. The defect is not us; instead, the defect is the whole architecture of the EU as well as some utterly unreasonable positions of politicians like you who want to achieve some "continental unity" on questions where it's clearly not achievable.
Let me talk about the budget now. I am sorry but the EU budget has nothing to do with some controversial and divisive questions about the European nations' approach to the mass migration. The EU is a confederacy of a sort and the purpose of this redistribution is the same as it is in any other country or confederacy: it is a mechanism to increase the homogeneity of the nation or the bloc which is desirable for various reasons.
Renzi's distant predecessor Mussolini has helped to start the war in Europe and, after he lost it, he helped to chase almost one-half of Europe to Stalin's sphere of influence. The Soviet supervision has gradually erased almost 90% of the economy that would otherwise have been created while Italy was doing OK. Even today, even the purchase-parity-based GDP per capita of Italy exceeds that of any Visegrád country (Czechia has beaten Greece in the PPP sense but not in the nominal one) which is an anomaly given Italians' relative messiness. Those are some simple reasons why Italy is a net payer to the EU budget while the post-communist countries are generally net recipients. To be explicit, the generally "West to East money flows" do not occur as a compensation for East's obedient agreement with the widespread West's opinions about migration and other things. If you thought they do, then you must have misread all the EU laws and treaties and misunderstand all the logic of having a confederacy.
(Poorer EU nations would surely be inclined to be "bribed" and accept some opinions for a compensation but if you are a Western European politician who wants to try this strategy, you should better make these conditions explicit in the treaties, otherwise they are obviously unenforceable. You may also learn that while it's easy to bribe them to do A, it may be almost impossible to bribe them to do B.)
To link the EU budget – one of the most general attributes of the EU identity (and when it comes to its mere existence, the budget is an apolitical thing) – with some of the most divisive political questions of the day is very dangerous for the existence of the EU, of course, especially because we think that you are completely wrong just like you probably think that we are wrong. You know, maybe in Italy and Greece, you have majorities that consider the "existence of the EU" to be a dogma that must be placed above everything else.
You find several such people in the Visegrád Group countries, too. But they're a tiny minority. A clear majority tries to think more rationally and carefully about the EU. Many people – perhaps above 50% in Czechia – would prefer to leave the EU. But what's arguably more important is that a very clear majority of my nation and others realize that the EU membership only makes sense when the conditions are good enough and there exists a threshold beneath which the Czechout or another departure from the EU would be preferred by a politically decisive majority.
Renzi blames Italy's expected 2.3% budget deficit for 2017 – higher than expected – on the expenses associated with the migration. But the high number of migrants in Italy isn't a natural catastrophe – like the August earthquake, another excuse of Renzi's. The large number of migrants in Italy is primarily a result of Italy's migration policies which have been utterly insane, just like the Greek ones – and include the deliberate transport of thousands of Africans from Libya so that their illegal migration adventures become even easier.
These crazy policies surely do contribute to Italy's budget deficits – but don't get me wrong, Italy and Greece are wasting the public money in lots of other ways as well. But they can't be used as arguments for Italy to pay less or receive more because they are clearly mistakes done by the Italian politicians themselves. Other countries such as mine obviously cannot reward Italy for doing something that we consider harmful – both for Italy and for Europe.
OK, it's obvious that Tsipras' and Renzi's interpretations of all these things are totally different and, in my opinion, hopelessly idiotic.
But at the end, you may forget about the disputes "who is right" and ask: What will happen when Renzi or Tsipras (one of them is enough) really torpedoes the EU budget by demanding that everyone adopts their delusions about migration? Well, most likely, the quotas and the redistribution will remain unacceptable in my country and/or other Visegrád Group (and perhaps other) countries, or at least some of these countries.
I haven't thought about the financial numbers describing the other countries – and especially the detailed psychology and political support – much. But I understand the situation of Czechia in quite some detail. The mass redistribution is basically unimaginable because it may make politicians who support such things unelectable. Just to be sure, I think we could integrate some 1,000 people just fine. But I am worried that to surrender this small battle means to help the idea that "the EU redistribution works" which will make it grow exponentially while it's becoming increasingly unstoppable. It's clearly a road to hell and the earlier it's stopped, the better.
OK, Czechia (and especially others) will reject the quotas once again and comrades Tsipras or Renzi will veto the EU budget. Some replacement is found and Czechia gets no inflows. What does it mean for us?
Well, near the peak, the net inflows to Czechia were some 2% of our GDP. It's a large amount of money that helps to determine deficits or surpluses. But relatively to the GDP, it's still a small fraction that just doesn't really change anything qualitatively. Our annual GDP growth rate exceeded 4% recently – although it may be closer to 2% now – so to subtract 2% from the GDP permanently is equivalent to waiting for 6-12 months (delaying the growth expected from these months). Or frame the numbers in terms of the budget balance. Czechia will probably end with a budget surplus at the end of 2016 – the finance minister Babiš is already bragging although it's not really his achievement. To lose 2% of GDP from the EU budget could mean to change a 0.5% surplus to a tolerable 1.5% deficit even if no expenses (including the "EU projects") were slashed.
To lose the EU inflows is simply not a change that rational Czechs consider important enough to sacrifice our basic sovereignty over the immigration policies and other things. Communism erased 80-90% of our "otherwise existing" GDP while the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s erased additional 30% of the rest – for a while, before we grew all of it and much more again. 1%-2% of the GDP is a negligible fraction in comparison. So we would probably accept the budget without net inflows – while we keep the right to reject all these migrants.
However, even though the financial loss would be small as a percentage of the GDP, it would be rather large relatively to the "net advantages that the EU membership means for us". The 1%-2% of our GDP that we were getting from the EU as net inflows in recent years are arguably the majority or at least a very large part of the advantages that the EU membership is bringing to us. (Assuming, of course, that nothing will change about the free trade between Czechia and the rest of the EU, especially Germany. Unlike the U.K., Czechia could be OK with the free movement of the European citizens and remain in the "single market" in the EU sense.)
To lose this inflow of money may very well be enough to make the public's desire to leave the EU safely exceed 50% or whatever is the really important threshold here. Just like it's suicidal for a Czech politician to support mass migration, it might very well become suicidal for him to support the continuing EU membership.
These are big changes of the political atmosphere on the continent that may result from Renzi's and Tsipras' childish and unrealistic dreams that a significant fraction of the illegal immigrants they have unwisely allowed to enter their countries will be transferred to the post-communist Europe. These changes may be dangerous but I am actually not sure that they would ultimately be negative things. It's plausible that the decay of the EU that Renzi and Tsipras may dramatically accelerate will turn out to be a good thing. But I am pretty sure that it won't be good according to the mental framework of pro-EU socialists like Renzi and pro-EU communists like Tsipras.
I don't really believe that if the Visegrád Group countries left the EU, the EU could redefine itself as the limited territory of the European Communities before any post-communist countries joined. It just won't work. In recent years, many Western Europeans have understood well that at least when it comes to the opinions about work and business, most post-communist central Europeans are actually closer to them than the Italians let alone Greeks. I have some doubts that Germany and other stable rich European countries would love to subsidize Italy too much in some restricted EU. But help yourself and prove me wrong.
You should notice that most of the "bizarre" circumstances and ideas of Renzi and Tsipras arise because Europe is simply not a nation or a demos – which is the most fundamental flaw of any attempt to integrate the EU countries into a democratic quasi-state. You know, if the folks in the EU were thinking as one nation, Renzi and Tsipras wouldn't even get the idea to link the EU budget to some controversial questions. These are really "nuclear weapons" that you only start to consider before a major dissolution, secession, or war (a civil war or otherwise). Some Midwest states may disagree with California's policies towards homosexuals or transsexuals but neither side will say that it's a reason to pay smaller amounts of money to the federal budget etc. Texas may be exposed to a higher number of Mexican immigrants but that doesn't mean it demands some very special treatment and astronomic subsidies comparable to the contributions to the federal budget. Even in the U.S. which is much more integrated, the states have gotten used to the fact that certain opinions and policies only hold in some states and they're not capable of "forcing" other states to accept these opinions and laws.
But Europeans are much less "unified" than the Americans, so they should understand that the power to force other nations to "be the same" is naturally (even) much weaker than in the U.S. At the end of the day, Europeans are simply not thinking as one nation. A Czech guy has enough problems with the Czech political parties he disagrees with. But those are "normal political problems" that have always existed. If we had to add Italians and Greeks to the "list of the people politically opposing us", the problems would become insurmountable. And indeed, almost all the opinions about the economy, business, budget, retirement, migration etc. that are believed by almost all Greeks and almost all Italians are unacceptable for almost all Czechs. And they're simply not our "close relatives" in any sense. We don't really want to "help them" with some problems they created for themselves. When there are some money flows, they must be results of some consensus that we approach rationally.
At any rate, Renzi, Tsipras, and many others have the capability of accelerating the decay of the European Union as we know it today. I just want to makes these comrades certain that this is the direction in which they're pushing. The idea that their childish blackmail will change the opinions of the Visegrád Group nation and we will become enthusiastic about the mass absorption of illegal immigrants is utterly unreasonable.