A day after theinauguration of Donald Trump, prominent leaders of Europe’s right-wing populist parties will gather in the German city of Koblenz in what observers see as a show of force targeting the European Union.
The meeting gained widespread attention in Germany as the first public get-together of Frauke Petry, chairwoman of the Alternative for Germany (AfD), and Marine Le Pen, president of France’s National Front.
Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders and Matteo Salvini of Italy’s Northern League are also set to speakGerman political commentators consider the meeting a signal of the AfD’s shifting further to the right, since many Germans associate France’s National Front in particular with anti-Semitism and extreme right-wing positions. at the one-day conference organised by Marcus Pretzell, an AfD member of the European Parliament. (more…)
THE European Union is facing a “crisis of legitimacy” in the wake of the migrant crisis as Hungary and Europe’s far right continue to rail against the imposition of refugee quotas.
Social sciences professor Peter Wilkin claims there is no doubt the EU is facing an “existential crisis”, which has only been heightened by the UK’s vote to leave the already crumbling bloc on June 23 this year.
But Hungary too is likely to play a part in the union’s downfall, the social sciences professor said. This is because the far right electorate continues to rail against the EU with anti-immigration protests and violent demonstrations ignored by inward-looking Brussels bureaucrats. (more…)
MARINE LE PEN has dealt a crippling blow to the European Union by promising she will hold a referendum to decide whether France remains in the Union if she becomes president.
The president of the National Front, a right-wing Eurosceptic party, issued the warning to Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission after branding his state of the Union speech to MEPs at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, “insipid”.
Expressing his “regret” at the historical Brexit vote, Mr Juncker insisted the EU is “not at risk”. (more…)
Yesterday the British people stood up for their freedom. Today the world is a different place.
Celebrities and politicians swarmed television studios to plead with voters to stay in the EU. Anyone who wanted to leave was a fascist. Economists warned of total collapse if Britain left the European Union. Alarmist broadcasts threatened that every family would lose thousands of pounds a year if Brexit won.
Even Obama came out to warn Brits of the economic consequences of leaving behind the EU.
Every propaganda gimmick was rolled out. Brexit was dismissed, mocked and ridiculed. It was for lunatics and madmen. Anyone who voted to leave the benevolent bosom of the European Union was an ignorant xenophobe who had no place in the modern world. And that turned out to be most of Britain.
While Londonistan, that post-British city of high financial stakes and low Muslim mobs, voted by a landslide to remain, a decisive majority of the English voted to wave goodbye to the EU. 67% of Tower Hamlets, the Islamic stronghold, voted to stay in the EU. But to no avail. The will of the people prevailed. (more…)
Global stock markets have plunged amid fears the UK could vote to leave the European Union in a crucial referendum after polls showed the “Brexit” camp surging ahead.
On Tuesday a poll by YouGov and UK Newspaper The Times showed the leave camp held 46 per cent of the vote compared to 39 per cent of the UK who wanted to remain in the EU.
It’s a three point swing from the previous week and is the strongest indicator yet the country will vote to split ways with the 27 other members of the bloc on June 23. Eleven per cent of voters remain undecided.
The numbers indicate a late surge for Vote Leave led by former London mayor Boris Johnson and Justice Secretary Micheal Gove which has been trailing in the polls for much of the campaign.
So where should the next impenetrable razor-wire border fence in Europe be built?
Hungary’s right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban thinks he knows the best place — on Macedonia’s and Bulgaria’s borders with Greece — smack along the main immigration route from the Middle East to Western Europe. He says it’s necessary because “Greece can’t defend Europe from the south” against the large numbers of refugees pouring in, mainly from Syria and Iraq.
The plan is especially controversial because it effectively means eliminating Greece from the Schengen zone, Europe’s 26-nation passport-free travel region that is considered one of the European Union’s most cherished achievements.
Orban’s plan featured prominently Monday at a meeting in Prague of leaders from four nations in an informal gathering known as the Visegrad group: Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The Visegrad group, formed 25 years ago to further the nations’ European integration, is marking that anniversary Monday. Still, it has only recently found a common purpose in its unified opposition to accepting any significant number of migrants.
This determination has emboldened the group, one of the new mini-blocs emerging lately in Europe due to the continent’s chaotic, inadequate response to its largest migration crisis since World War II. The Visegrad group is also becoming a force that threatens the plans of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who wants to resettle newcomers across the continent while also slowing down the influx.
European countries are stretched to their limits in the refugee crisis and cannot take in any more new arrivals, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls is quoted as saying in a German newspaper on Wednesday.
“We cannot accommodate any more refugees in Europe, that’s not possible,” Valls told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, adding that tighter control of Europe’s externalborders would determine the fate of the European Union.
“If we don’t do that, the people will say: Enough of Europe,” Valls warned.
The comments were published only hours before German Chancellor Angela Merkel was scheduled to meet French President Francois Hollande in Paris.
Merkel was initially celebrated at home and abroad for her welcoming approach to the refugees, many of whom are fleeing conflict in the Middle East. But as the flow has continued the chancellor has come under increasing criticism.
Some conservatives say Merkel’s decision to open up Germany’s borders to Syrian refugees in September has spurred more migrants to come.
The refugee debate has become more politically charged after the deadly attacks in Paris that stoked fears Islamic State militants could exploit the migrant crisis to send extremists to Europe.
Valls avoided criticising Merkel directly for having suspended European asylum rules to allow in Syrian refugees stranded in Hungary. “Germany has made an honourable choice there,” he said.
But he signalled that Paris was taken by surprise by Merkel’s decision: “It was not France that said: Come!”
French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron and his German counterpart, Sigmar Gabriel, have proposed setting up a 10 billion euro (NZ$16.2 billion) fund to pay for tighter security, external border controls and caring for refugees.
The United Nations on Tuesday condemned new restrictions on refugees that have left around 1000 migrants stuck at the main border crossing into Macedonia from Greece.
European Union countries should not give in to base reactions of rejecting refugees after the Paris attacks because the shooters were criminals, not asylum seekers, European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker said on Sunday.
Top Polish and Slovak officials have poured cold water on the EU refugee relocation plan right after the attacks late on Friday that killed 129 people, saying the violence underlined the concerns of Europeans about taking in Muslim refugees.
“We should not mix the different categories of people coming to Europe,” Juncker told a news conference on the sidelines of a G20 summit of world leaders in the Turkish coastal province of Antalya.
One of the attackers in Paris has been identified as having entered the EU through the Greek island of Leros on Oct. 3, 2015, with other refugees. On entering, he was identified and fingerprinted according to EU rules.
“The one responsible for the attacks in Paris… he is a criminal and not a refugee and not an asylum seeker,” Juncker said.
“I would invite those in Europe who try to change the migration agenda we have adopted — I would like to remind them to be serious about this and not to give in to these basic reactions that I do not like,” Juncker said.
Poland’s new Europe minister Konrad Szymanski said on Saturday his incoming government did not agree with Poland’s commitment to accept its share of an EU-wide relocation of immigrants, and now, “in the face of the tragic acts in Paris, we do not see the political possibilities to implement (this).”
On Saturday Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said: “We have been saying that there are enormous security risks linked to migration. Hopefully, some people will open their eyes now.”
But Juncker said there was no need to change Europe’s plan to relocate 160,000 refugees around Europe, as agreed earlier.
“I see the difficulty but I don’t see the need to change our general approach,” he said.
The newly appointed Polish foreign minister has moved to forestall the inevitable hand-wringing over the Paris attacks, this morning claiming “crazed leftists” would blame the killings of over 120 civilians by Islamist terrorists on the West.
Without naming any particular states, Mr. Waszczykowski also took aim at the countries who help fund Islamist terrorism. He said the West should: “exert enormous pressure on those countries that created the Islamic State, or which support it.
His harshest criticisms, however, were reserved for the European intellectualelite who he believed would try and lever the attacks to their political advantage.
Asked by the radio interviewer whether the attacks were linked to the European migrant crisis, he said: “I have a problem with that, because I heard in this morning’s discussions these crazed leftists who explained that we are guilty, that Western countries are to blame.
“[They say] we have not created the right conditions for living, for integration for these people and they are so frustrated by it they reach for the Kalashnikov, the suicide belt. It is down to the faults of our society.
“That’s a blind alley. Whipping up shame in our society, makes our civilisation lame”.
Although Mr. Waszczykowski doesn’t officially become foreign minister until next week, he has not been shy about getting involved in sensitive national and global issues since the stunning victory of his right-wing Law and Justice party last month in a national election that totally cleared the Polish parliament of left-wing parties.
Speaking to the BBC about Poland’s refusal to take immigrants, Mr. Waszczykowski said yesterday: “the proposal to accept a large number of migrants from other continents, migrants that are seeking jobs and social benefits, is not acceptable to us. Our job markets are not prepared to accept such large amounts of people.
“If there are people who can escape from Syria and can prove their identity, can prove they were engaged in political activity and may be persecuted by the Assad regime… they can legitimately flee to safe havens, and for them the first safe countries are like Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan. Escaping there, they are refugees.
“Once they leave these countries and travel through Europe, they are violating international law, and become illegal migrants. They are migrants searching for jobs and social benefits”.
“Such a large, uncontrolled migration may cause problems for the life of Europe… security of our country is the most important, I am a politician… I am taking part in the decision to secure Poland… I spent years living in foreign countries, living in the Middle East. I was the ambassador to Iran.
“I know this region, I know the culture, I know what might happen with uncontrolled migration from regions where war has been going on for years. This is not the language of hate, it is the language of warning”.
One of Mr. Waszczykowski’s senior colleagues moved to back him up this morning, telling journalists that Poland would not be accepting migrants under the European Union relocation quota scheme, and said he would cancel the outgoing government’s commitment to the scheme. Europe affairs minister Konrad Szymanski, who will also take up his role on Monday said: “in the face of the tragic acts in Paris, we do not see the political possibilities to implement [this]”.
Many are now looking to Eastern Europe as a beacon for hope, as they resolutely refuse to accept the European Union’s multicultural ambitions. Speaking to Breitbart London, Euro-sceptic, anti-migration Sweden Democrat member of parliament Kent Ekeroth spoke of his admiration. He said:
“The eastern states are Europe’s hope. They are the ones standing against the left-wing liberalism – the EU tried to push it on them, to change them just like they changes Western Europe. But I hope they won’t change. I always feel this connection with other Europeans, and I want to help preserve these different but similar cultures in Europe”
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