Opinion – Merkel the bold | The Economist

Deutsch: Dr. Angela Merkel Bundeskanzlerin der...

Deutsch: Dr. Angela Merkel Bundeskanzlerin der Bundesrepublik Deutschland Vorsitzende der CDU Deutschlands (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Barack Obama, President, talked with David Cam...

Barack Obama, President, talked with David Cameron, Prime Minister, and Angela Merkel, Chancellor, at the 36th G8 summit in Muskoka District Municipality, Ontario Province on June 25, 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Economist lead article is full of praise for Angela Merkel‘s decisive, visionary and compassionate approach to immigration.

Source: Merkel the bold | The Economist

Apart from the article, it’s worth reading the many comments received below the article. In particular, I was struck by the German reader who indicated that he was proud of the practical help being offered by ordinary Germans. Another comment referred to American quotas with Mexico and how the system has been abused for decades.

It seems that Germany has already persuaded France to support the German initiative on immigration quotas. Meanwhile, a number of East European countries are pushing back, no doubt reflecting popular political pressure.

Against this background, David Cameron seems rather isolated and the UK is perhaps seen as not doing her part?

The other day, my colleague, John Gelmini, dispassionately argued the case that Europe is full in response to a Marxist perspective article from the NYT.

Actually, David Cameron has a good point too. There are a number of separate but related problems here. Firstly, there is the humanitarian disaster, which Angela Merkel is addressing compassionately – but this is a crisis-management approach. Crisis management will alleviate some immediate suffering but it will not address the cause of the crisis, nor the social consequences of the opening of the immigration flood gates.

The second problem is the cause. Massive African migration is being fanned by the war-torn zones in the Middle-East. This has created two sorts of immigrant, the political one fleeing in fear and the economic opportunist. Clearly, processes to differentiate between the two types of immigrant in Europe are not working effectively. David Cameron is right to focus on the strategic issues in the Middle East as triggering the migration crisis. From a historic perspective, American and European interventions in both Iraq and Syria seems to have precipitated the crisis. Ultimately, an effective strategic solution must be found for both Iraq and Syria.

The third problem is to recognize the explosive social time-bomb from opening the immigration flood gates. It’s not just the immigrants themselves permitted by quotas, it’s their friends and family and their future generations. Already Germany and Sweden are changed by immigration and multiculturalism.

In my view, the UK and France need to bring some stronger resolve to European foreign policy and work with the US in finding lasting solutions that will slow the massive emigration from Africa. Let’s hope that Angela Merkel is ready to be bold on European foreign policy too.


3 responses

  1. The Middle East is a quagmire of failed states and terrorist entities . ISIS of course is is the most ambitious terrorist entity aspiring to be a fully functioning state . The West can and should respond with a degree of compassion to the current migrant crisis . However , the longterm policy of the free world and the United Nations should be to encourage potential migrants from Africa and the Middle East to remain in place . Working towards a better economic future in these parts of the world is possible in an ever improving world economy and is better than the perils of migration .

  2. Dr Alf is right to refer to the need for Europe and the world to look at what is driving the mass migration from Africa and the Middle East.

    We hear a lot about Syrians but less about the war in the Congo, which by
    July of this year had claimed 6 million lives and displaced hordes of desperate people.

    Europe cannot, and should not, take in huge numbers of people from Africa and the Middle East but should create space in the failed state of Libya using military force, supplemented by American air power using thermobaric weapons, drones and killer robots to cleanse a large enough area of that country of terrorists and extremists.

    Syrians and Africans can be resettled there and our military can guard the borders which would be the physical and electronic equivelent of what Hadrian the Roman Emperor had his legions build to keep out marauding Scots and what Septimus Severus built in his day to contain the troublesome Welsh tribes.

    If we suspend our critical facilities and are deflected from correct action by the media, BBC reporters who say that “nothing can be done by Europe’s leaders to stem the flow of determined migrants” and people like the Archbishop of Canterbury who in fairness is only doing his job as a “man of the cloth” then we will live to regret it.

    Ordinary Germans may want to help Syrian refugees today and may lionise Angela Merkel today but as time goes on the present trickle will grow into a raging torrent and then they will become full of regret, remorse and anger.
    The reality of what precedents are being set by these migrants and our quasi open door policy to all comers has not yet sunk in either in Europe nor in America which has it’s own troubles.

    Our leaders should be capable of thinking and planning ahead but the present crop seem incapable of doing so, including Chancellor Merkel who as a former nuclear physicist really ought to know better.

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