I think that the Italian prime minister and the most relevant minister should be abruptly tried in the court as soon as they fail to realize this duty and one or two illegal immigrants makes it through the EU border. Instead, they have allowed – well, they have really assisted – hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants to get into the Schengen Area. During the weekend, we learned something incredible:
Italy plots 'nuclear option' to migrant crisis by giving EU visas to 200,000 incomers and sending them north as the country struggles with 'human warehouse'They just want to give the visas valid for the whole EU to everyone who looks like an illegal immigrant! It's just stunning. Anyone in the world who wants to get to Europe may just sail to the Italian beaches and he automatically gets all the paperwork. Technically, they want to use the same system of temporary visas that was allowed in 2001, in the wake of conflicts in Yugoslavia. A difference is that there was a real war in Yugoslavia which was an adjacent country to several EU countries. And the drifting Yugoslavs of those times were mostly real refugees from a battlefront, not economic migrants. Libya sits at a different continent and except for Italy, we have had no historical links with that country. And almost all the people coming from Libya are economic migrants – and most of them aren't even Libyan.
It's no coincidence that a wartime regulation is being abused in these plans. Acts like that are acts of war. If Italy wants to send 200,000 invaders from its former colony to neighboring European countries, it is an invasion with the corresponding consequences for the peace in the region. It is completely analogous e.g. to the 1968 occupation of Czechoslovakia by 150,000 troops from the Warsaw Pact armies, among many other examples. The 1968 occupying troops were also presented as brothers doing their "fraternal help" – except that most people on the target territory had (and have) a very different view.
I find it obvious that a responsible EU member state should immediately stop recognizing these EU visas – to say the least, all visas that are at risk of having been issued by Italy, a country whose visa institutions have been compromised – and reintroduce the border checks. When a country in the Schengen Area goes rough as Italy plans to, it clearly means that the whole common visa and asylum system of the EU has completely collapsed and an emergency solution has to be looked for quickly.
Italy's plan is the visa counterpart of Italy's unilateral printing of trillions of Euro banknotes. You just can't print your own banknotes if you share the currency with others who could disagree. Exactly in the same way, you're just not supposed to give hundreds of thousands of visas to exotic migrants for free if there is a widespread disagreement in the countries that use the same visa paperwork as you do. Do we really have to explain these elementary things?
By the way, the claim that no countries wanted to help Italy sounds bizarre, too. In a strange twist, the Czech government revealed that it wants to defend itself – against the "accusation" that we're not embracing illegal immigrants – by saying that Italy was too lazy and hasn't sent us a single candidate while Greece has only sent 12 of them. The Václav Klaus Institute is the only political institution that has criticized this defense strategy taken by the Czech government. Our kosher defense should always start with the fact that we find the substance of the quota system unacceptable.
There are days when these things are discussed and people and EU nations and politicians are screaming at each other. And then come periods of relative peace when softer language is used and the battles are being forgotten. Which of the two regimes is a more accurate portrait of the actual situation within the EU at the present? I am not sure. The truth is probably in between.
The new war within the EU is probably less hot than what it looks like on the most tense days. On the other hand, the problems aren't as non-existent as it looks during the quiet days. Italy's intent to turn the EU visas into piles of worthless dirty toilet paper is surely alarming. Even if this step were avoided, we may see that the European Union lacks the abilities to prevent similar crippling unilateral steps.
One may view Italy's threat as a method to blackmail other European countries. As a country on the edge of the Schengen Area, Italy has an extra duty or a liability. But it wants to turn this liability into a great asset, a tool of mass blackmail. Italy's politicians were inspired by Turkey that has also blackmailed Europe in similar ways. Pay billions of Euros to us, do all wonderful things, otherwise we will flood Europe with astronomical amounts of illegal immigrants.
When the system seems to be utterly unprotected against a similar behavior, should we trust in its future? Shouldn't countries like mine simply leave the Schengen Area – and the EU, if needed? Isn't it guaranteed that the first major test of the internal mechanisms of the Schengen Area will end up with a giant failure? And if we wanted to preserve the Schengen Area, is it possible to fix the defects so that threats such as Italy's threat to open the gates and flood Europe with Africans would become impossible in the future?
I find it ironic that people who would defend Italy's behavior on ideological grounds are referred to as "politically correct" people. They're the nice, perhaps overly sensitive folks etc. Oh, really? What Italy wants to do is completely analogous to similar acts that have ignited lots of wars in Europe's history. Can you really use the term "politically correct" for a nuclear option like that?