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Thread: "Thousands are sailing ...

  1. #1
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    Default "Thousands are sailing ...

    "Thousands are sailing
    Across the western ocean
    To a land of opportunity
    That some of them will never see
    Fortune prevailing
    Across the western ocean
    Their bellies full
    Their spirits free
    They'll break the chains of poverty
    And they'll dance"

    - From "Thousands are Sailing", the Pogues, 1988.

    Well, here we go again. It will not have escaped the notice of most of us In Here that the European Union is trying to cope with an unprecedented migration crisis. The Italian Navy, with assistance from the Royal Navy, the Irish Naval Service (believe it or not) and the French Navy, along with the Médecins sans Frontiers" organization, have spent months saving thousands of migrants/refugees setting out from the coast of Libya in crappy, unsuitable boats, bound for Italy. More recently, a mass of migrants has built up and effectively burst through the EU's "border" in Hungary. The bulk of these people appear to come from Syria - for obvious reasons. Others come from Eritrea - an African dictatorship so repressive that accounts of it remind one of North Korea - or even Pol Pot's Cambodia. Of course, it is quite clear that these mass refugee movements have been taken advantage of a large number of economic migrants from the usual suspects (Nigeria, Turkey, Egypt) to tag along in the hope - evidently the common one - to reach Germany or another Northern European EU Member State. The total number is in hundreds of thousands, and could reach millions.

    I have to say that I am seriously conflicted by this process. Of course, we in the EU have a legal and moral obligation to give asylum to political refugees. Just about any refugee from Syria or Eritrea could make out a case for themselves on this point. However, the relevant international law never envisaged flows of refugees in hundreds of thousands. Nor does it create a legal obligation to accommodate unlimited number of economic migrants. The latter, in legal terms, are liable to repatriation. Problem is ... economic migrants tend to make themselves anonymous, "losing" passports, identity documents and other identifying materials, making it very difficult to repatriate them, even in small numbers. And yet, EU leaders insist that those failing the "economic migration test" will be repatriated. Meanwhile, even the numbers of genuine asylum seekers is, itself, enormous, unprecedented. To paraphrase, "We got trouble, right here in Brussels City ...".

    This phenomenon, coming on top to the Brussels-imposed "austerity crisis" and the treatment of Greece by the EU, has the capacity to bring the EU to a breaking point. Germany has been "generous" in its promises to accept these asylum seekers - arguably in their national interest, in view of their looming demographic crisis. Other states, including Ireland and France, seem willing to go along with this for political reasons. On the other hand, central/eastern European Member States, led by Hungary and supported by Slovakia, Romania and (less volubly) the Baltic States, appear resolutely opposed to accept Brussels-imposed quotas of refugees, insisting that the EU should concentrate on securing its borders and reinforcing the systems for assessing the eligibility of the new arrivals for refugee status. The "President" of the EU Commission this morning told the European Parliament that the EU as a whole would have to accommodate 160,000 refugees on the basis of a mandatory allocation system (details to be announced). The group led by Hungary is unwilling to accept this - implying that, even when it comes to "genuine" asylum seekers, Hungary and others are unwilling to accept any migrant on their own terms. The UK, of course, has stated that it will only accept a self-determined number of people, only from among those still in refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan. It will be very interesting to see how these contradictions play out in Brussels. Expect feathers to fly ... Yours from the Budapest Railway Station, JR.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: "Thousands are sailing ...

    No nation is least conflicted by and least concerned with the consequences of its endless political and military interference in the Middle East and, notably, the causes of the current Syrian exodus than the US.

    "Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me".

    Yeah, right, and the US has magnanimously agreed to take a derisory 6,000 refugees from the mess the US created, albeit created by the US as part of the, to date, end process of Western interference in the Middle East during and since WWI, the Balfour Declaration, incomprehensible and primarily US support for the rabid Zionists in Israel, not to mention support for the rabid likes of Pahlavi and Saddam, and other idiocies guaranteed only to inflame the primitive religious and other conflicts and values of that despotic medieval and frequently much more primitive region.

    At least the US is taking some refugees, which is more than Saudi Arabia and the other Arab / Muslim states around Syria are doing for their Arab / Muslim mates, some of whom have the misfortune to be the wrong brand of Muslim to make them worth saving.

    If I was a Muslim anywhere in the Middle East or Central Asia and given a choice between being killed by my own corrupt regime or being denied succour by another corrupt Muslim regime which despises and will oppress if not kill me because I'm the wrong brand of Islam, I'd want to go to Europe too. Same for various minorities such as Christians.

    And, having some understanding of these matters from an interesting childhood, I'd grab safety from fear and violence the first time I found it. I wouldn't
    (and didn't) demand that I be moved to better quarters than the ones I first landed in.

    Meanwhile, we have people who routinely leave Central Asia or the Middle East, go through various countries with similar cultural and religious systems on their way to Western Europe where they board aeroplanes to fly in the opposite direction to their escape route so they can land in Indonesia where, as with the previous 20 to 30 countries they've been through, they don't claim asylum. Instead, they choose to pay people smugglers to try to bring them to Australia.

    This, as with the Syrians' demands to go to Germany, doesn't strike me as desperate people grateful to be anywhere they're safe but people choosing a destination because it suits their aspirations. Notably much better social security and other benefits than they'd get in, say, anywhere much east of Germany and everywhere they'd land in the Middle East, even with their co-religionists of supposed great mercy.

    Perfectly understandable desire to get the best life you can, but after you've passed the first safe country in which you fail to claim asylum you're not a refugee from a well founded fear of persecution but just someone trying to beat the system to get to your preferred destination, and in so doing displacing more deserving cases languishing in refugee camps all over the world for years and often decades.

    It's only the people with more money than the unfortunates languishing in camps who can embark on these migrations. It offends me that, as with most of life, it's the bastards with money who can push ahead of those without it.

    Anyway, the solution to the refugee problem isn't admitting more refugees to Western nations. It's stopping the circumstances which drive them out of their countries, which usually involve the West (a) creating those circumstances or (b) failing to stop those circumstances.

    The solution to the Syrian exodus is not to stuff around on the edges of ISIL in Syria but to get rid of Assad. Instead, we're going to expand our ultimately indecisive air strikes to ISIL in Syria, where every mission we fly merely aids Assad's war on his own people. End result: more Syrian refugees; ISIL not defeated as no ground troops put in; ISIL gets more attractive to lunatics in the West; and another massive own goal!
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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    Default Re: "Thousands are sailing ...

    I hope I am wrong but, for Europe, this could prove to be an unavoidable disaster, made worse by the total lack of planning for any such eventuality. Frau Merkel has taken a "liberty hall" attitude to this. Germany has promised to "process" some 800,000 migrants, with the expectation that some 400,000 will qualify for asylum. She could be in for a shock. Nobody seems to have considered the great difficulty attendant on repatriating "undocumented" migrants, even if they are judged to be economic migrants. Further, her position has made Germany a huge magnet for further waves of migrants (political or otherwise). How many more in Africa and the Middle East will respond to this draw ? Already, radical far right anti-immigration activism (neo-Naziism in effect) is stirring in eastern Germany, and even the conventional far Right (in the form of Merkel's Bavarian affiliates) have raised the issue of Merkel's arrogance and irresponsibility in inflicting substantial numbers of refugees on the German Lander without consultation. Given Germany's history of Radical Right politics, this could get very rocky. Distinctly possible that Merkel has signed her own political death warrant.

    The Eurocracy's approach of "imposing" quotas of refugees may appear a sensible strategy. However, it ignores the various sensitivities of the various Member States as they exist in the real world. Several of the central/eastern European countries have a relatively recent history of Radical Right-Wing politics, notably Hungary (Arrow Cross etc.). Hungary's (apparent - actually chaotic) policy at the present time is not much appreciated by actual western Europeans - emphasizing resistance to compulsory quotas, and the need to reinforce EU borders - is perfectly understandable, unless the EU would like to end up with a Hungarian Fourth Reich among its Member States. In France, it remains to be seen how the Front National will respond to this; perhaps because they have been too absorbed in internal dissention to pay full attention to the migration issue. That will not last. A number of western European countries have a residual rump of far Right activism. It has not stirred yet but, in all likelihood, it will.

    Even here in the Emerald Isle, there are huge potential problems. True, we do not have a tradition of Right Wing activism (it was squeezed out by Roman Catholic Reactionary movements in the mid-20th century). However, there are "stirrings". During our delusionary "Celtic Tiger" boom, significant numbers of migrants entered the country, and are still here. EU migrants have not been a great problem - Polish, Balt and even (covertly) Russian and Ukrainian migrants have found a comfortable and productive place here (the number of Polish masses in Irish churches ...). However, the attitude to other groups - west Africans and Muslims in general - is not so tolerant. Political correctness generally suppresses comment - but very many Irish people privately resent the fact that, for example, our reasonably generous but overburdened welfare system supports a significant number of economic migrants who are possessed of a sense of entitlement, and appear to have no intention of contributing positively to our economy. Not at all clear that the arrival of thousands of Middle Eastern and African migrants will improve matters. In fact, there is a distinct danger that this could generate Radical Right activism of the sort that we have, up to now, avoided. I was just listening to a "vox pop" programme on our national radio in which a contributor advocated a creation of an Irish "anti-immigration (political) party" which would force the Irish political class (not generally very popular in any case) to "listen to the words of the people". Springtime for O'Hitler ... ? At least they lack a Fuhrer. At least for now ... Yours from the Newgrange Bunker, JR.

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    Default Re: "Thousands are sailing ...

    1. Is Germany being generous, or just hoping to solve its skilled labour shortage by taking one in two of the Syrian refugees it admits?

    2. Imagine a catastrophe in the Middle East which results in the entire population of Israel heading for Germany as their only refuge.

    That should test out a bit of history, on both sides.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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    Default Re: "Thousands are sailing ...

    Yesterday morning, the Irish Government (following an emergency Government meeting) announced that Ireland would admit 4,000 "programme refugees" in the near future - this number to include a few hundred who are already in the country or on the way. Most, apparently, will be Syrians and Eritreans and, according to our Minister for Justice and Law Reform, they will be a pretty well-educated bunch, well capable of contributing to Irish society and the economy. We shall see. This announcement appears to be a response to the gush of sympathy in the Irish population for the hard-pressed refugees, combined with an attempted pre-emptive "bid" in advance of the "emergency" EU Council of Justice Ministers, scheduled for Brussels next week. We shall see. The Government has already admitted that "4,000" will be more like "5,000", allowing for family reunion cases. Not a good start.

    While the public "welcome" for the refugees certainly reflects well on Irish people in general, and while we do not have a tradition of xenophobic far-Right activism, we here on the Emerald Isle have our own difficulties when it comes to incorporating large numbers of non-European immigrants. The most obvious, objective problem is that we are suffering from a housing shortage - a very severe one in and near our cities. One might ask how this could be so, given that our recent bust was substantially fuelled by a housing property "bubble". The answer rests mainly in two circumstances. First, an extraordinary amount of the actual housebuilding occurred in improbable areas where nobody actually wants to live. This activity was facilitated by the "Liberty Hall" approach of our bankers (?..ankers) to property lending during the boom, and a tax system that allowed developers to obtain tax write-offs that encouraged them to build even when the demand for houses in a particular location was distinctly doubtful. As a result, our country is spotted with "ghost (housing) estates, located where there is little or no demand for housing. This ties in with the second reason - that building in or close to the cities failed to meet demand, even during the period of ludicrously inflated house prices. One might suspect that this occurred, in part, because developers were anxious to limit supply in order to support the crazy prices. Then came the bust, which more or less killed development, even where demand was strong. As a result of this disastrous failure of bankers and planners, house and apartment prices, and rents, are rising (strongly) again in desirable areas (notably in Dublin and its "commuter counties) and the Government seems at a loss to deal with the burgeoning homelessness crisis among our own population. Property booms - dont'cha love 'em !

    In our current atmosphere of unreality, it would appear possible to accommodate the whole 4,000 (or 5,000, or whatever may emerge from the EU next week) in private houses and apartments offered, out of the goodness of their hearts by private citizens. This, of course, will not work. Apart from the serious legal difficulties, the prospect of organizing a system based on this approach is nightmarish. What do you do if, in the end, people do not get on ? Or the welcome of the incomers in the private host's home wears out ? No, what is actually going to happen is that the refugees will be accommodated in "surplus" publicly-owned buildings. Foremost among these are mothballed army barracks. We have an impressive "heritage" of these complexes, courtesy of the enthusiasm of the Brits for recruiting Irishmen to their forces in the 19th century. These will be designated "reception centres", and the intention (?hope) would be that, since most of the people arriving will be designated "genuine" refugees (!) it should be possible to release them into the workforce where they can look after their own accommodation needs. Em ... this will still leave the problem of where they are going to live, outside the ... regimented environment of, say, Longford Barracks, mothballed former HQ of the Irish Cavalry Corps and - located in what was until recently known as the "depressed north Midlands", is not exactly the best place for an enthusiastic Eritrean software engineer to find work (unless, that is, he fancies cleaning pub toilets for a living). One of our more sensible economists (he clearly and repeated warned of the coming crash before it actually happened) has suggested that, as a partial alternative, the unfortunate refugees could be housed in our "ghost estates". Not one of his more sensible ideas. Even Longford Barracks would appear better than a scarcely occupied (or totally unoccupied) ghost estate in the middle of nowhere.

    Which leads to another problem - the confirmed ineptitude of our Department of Justice and Law Reform in dealing with the relatively small number of refugees already in the country. The process of dealing, in particular, with alleged economic migrants has been particularly inept, with some people languishing in what we call "direct provision" (no right to work, no decision, endless appeal process ... ) for years; up to 10 years in some cases. Reforms are promised - but the details released to date are unconvincing, bearing in mind the strong protection in the Irish Constitution for due process (i.e. endless appeals). Given the record of D/Justice in this area to date, their ability to handle this greatly increased burden is, to say the least, questionable.

    It seems to me that another shambolic disaster is in the making, in Ireland as much as anywhere else in Europe. Gods help us ! JR.

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    Default Re: "Thousands are sailing ...

    Quote Originally Posted by JR* View Post
    While the public "welcome" for the refugees certainly reflects well on Irish people in general, and while we do not have a tradition of xenophobic far-Right activism,
    You're not likely to be hugely xenophobic given that, like Italy and Greece and even Scotland to an extent, your major export over the past couple of centuries has been your people. It's hard to maintain xenophobia when most of your people are in other countries where, often, they're experiencing xenophobia as in the standard "No Irish need apply".

    Quote Originally Posted by JR* View Post
    As a result, our country is spotted with "ghost (housing) estates, located where there is little or no demand for housing.
    Don't feel too bad about that. Even the Chinese communists didn't avoid that in their quaint form of centrally controlled capitalism. http://www.citymetric.com/skylines/e...noccupied-1180

    Quote Originally Posted by JR* View Post
    Property booms - dont'cha love 'em !
    Not really. Our absurd property boom is being fuelled significantly by, often suspected to be tainted, money coming from China and other parts of Asia, such as Malaysia where its Prime Minister was the unwitting beneficiary of benevolent donations of $700 million to his bank account but which his anti-corruption body has said is quite alright. http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...donations-1mdb

    Quote Originally Posted by JR* View Post
    Which leads to another problem - the confirmed ineptitude of our Department of Justice and Law Reform in dealing with the relatively small number of refugees already in the country. The process of dealing, in particular, with alleged economic migrants has been particularly inept, with some people languishing in what we call "direct provision" (no right to work, no decision, endless appeal process ... ) for years; up to 10 years in some cases. Reforms are promised - but the details released to date are unconvincing, bearing in mind the strong protection in the Irish Constitution for due process (i.e. endless appeals). Given the record of D/Justice in this area to date, their ability to handle this greatly increased burden is, to say the least, questionable.
    We're not doing that, apparently. The 12,000 Syrians we're going to take are going to be dealt with promptly, unlike the poor bastards we've been keeping in our onshore and offshore concentration camps for years. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-31827074

    Our great and generous government is, however, ready to apply taxpayer's money most generously and most inefficiently to getting nuisance asylum seekers out of our country, at close to $14 million for each of four people sent to sunny Cambodia, at least one of whom doesn't want to stay there. http://www.smh.com.au/world/refugee-...06-gjgg25.html Meanwhile the same genius government has set aside $700 million for 4,400 Syrians, who apparently are very much cheaper to run at only about $160,000 each, and onshore at that. I don't know whether we're ripping off the Syrians or just getting a bargain.

    Quote Originally Posted by JR* View Post
    It seems to me that another shambolic disaster is in the making, in Ireland as much as anywhere else in Europe. Gods help us ! JR.
    Don't be so Gaelo / Euro centric.

    We f*ck these things up down here at least as well (badly?) as you people up the top of the planet. Probably better, 'cos we're a really big island surrounded by sharks 'n shit wif a navy n' shit 'n so we don't give a shit who we subject to persecution 'n shit, even if they're fleeing a well founded fear of persecution 'n shit. Keep it real, bro!
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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    Default Re: "Thousands are sailing ...

    17 September - the tide of migration continues to lap against Hungarian barbed wire. Meanwhile, a new flow has directed itself through Serbia towards Croatia, and possibly on into EU Member State Slovenia. This business is beginning to resemble the sand dams my father used to build between two sandbars on the beach against the retreating tide, so many years ago. No matter how impressive the dam, the retreating water would, sooner or later, find a little weakness and ... whoosh ! ... rush through the gap. With hundreds of thousands of migrants of one sort or another in Greece, Italy, Macedonia, Serbia and Croatia, this situation seems quite out of control.

    Nor is the European Union coming out of this very well. Having first declared her borders open to migrants, Germany has been forced to close them again as the implications of huge, uncontrolled inflows became clear. Hungarian policy has pirouetted like the velocity of a whirling dervish, finally settling on defending its rabbit-proof fence against the wave of migrants threatening to destroy "Christian" Hungary. In response, the "liberal" western European states, led by Germany, "deplore" Hungary's (eventually) harsh response (razor wire, tear gas, baton charges ...), while Hungary and its allies (Romania, Slovakia etc.) castigate Germany for causing the whole problem by setting herself up as a huge "migrant magnet" at the heart of Europe. Things are no better at EU institutional level. The recent "emergency" Council summit of Justice and Home Affairs ministers featured a stark refusal on the part of Hungary and friends to accept a mandatory quota system for the allocation of migrants (or at least those presumed or judged to be genuine refugees). Of course, the Hungarian faction does not posses a "blocking minority", enabling it, legally, to block mandatory allocation; however, the EU never, never forces a qualified majority vote against this sort of opposition, at least openly. A bit less openly, threats have been flying around, including that of imposing "sanctions", in the form of cutbacks in EU aid to Member States sorely in need of it (subsequently "spun down" to the notion that the resistants might in some way accept lower EU aid in return for zero migrant allocations - scarcely either convincing or honorable). There are also rumors of unusually "heated" exchanges in Council - notably a "screaming match" between the German and Baltic ministers; unprecedented, since the Balts are usually as quiet as lambs in all EU fora. Whether this matter can be resolved at a Summit of Heads of State and Government in October is distinctly problematical. By then, in any case, events may have far overtaken the lumbering EU machine.

    On the basis that "we are where we are", there is no doubt that EU Member States are obliged, not just in morality, but in law, to give refuge to all migrants found to be genuine refugees from political or ethnically-based persecution. Beyond saying that there appears to be a working presumption that any migrant from Syria and Eritrea will qualify for asylum (not necessarily justified), it is clear that many of those migrating are economic migrants from other places (India, Pakistan, Mali, Nigeria ...). It is far from clear how EU Member States can sort through this mass efficiently, effectively, and quickly as promised. And of course, insofar as the people now massing at EU borders are held to be genuine refugees, many - the young men in the majority of the group - will have the option of applying for family reunification; again, quite legal, but posing yet more difficulties for the "refusnik" states of Eastern Europe. What a mess ...

    BTW, RS* - you have a point about our major export being our people. The OECD recently estimated that one in six living people born in Ireland now live outside the Irish state. Fair few of them in your general vicinity, I believe ... Yours from Dublin Airport, JR.
    Last edited by JR*; 09-17-2015 at 05:24 AM.

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    Default Re: "Thousands are sailing ...

    18 September - Further about-turns, as Serbia and Croatia effectively close their borders against refugees coming from ...one to the other, trying to evade the Hungarian razor-wire fence. Hard to blame them; the new flow of migrants in their direction has overwhelmed their limited resources to deal with it. Meanwhile, Hungary is extending its "rabbit-proof fence" to cover its border with Croatia and Slovenia (the latter an EU Member State). One can hardly blame the unfortunate migrants for having difficulty in keeping up with all this. At this rate, they will end up having to seek asylum in Russia (don't hold your breath ...). Meanwhile, the next EU leaders' summit to address this mess seems magically to have moved forward to next week. Hope springs eternal ...

    To be fair to Hungary, its position - by the standards of EU-related matters - is patently simple -

    (1) While accepting its limitations, Hungary is the one EU Member State upholding EU and international law in the matter of inward migration and asylum.

    (2) There is little or no objective evidence that the bulk of the migrant wave is composed of genuine asylum seekers, as distinct from economic migrants. Sorting that question out will be very difficult.

    (3) The approach of the western European Member States is unrealistic since (in spite of protestations to the contrary) it appears to involve turning a blind eye to the distinction between genuine refugees and economic migrants in many cases.

    (4) Acceptance of such a large number of migrants - of one sort or another - will undermine the "Christian culture" of Hungary, and of the EU in general.

    The last point is particularly problematic, since it expresses what might be termed an "inconvenient half-truth". The "true" bit of the half-truth is that, however the majority of the population of western Europe may regard themselves, the Christian basis of European (and American, and Australian, and Canadian ....) culture is, beyond doubt, Christian. This applies even to the area of science, in which the activity of institutionalized Christianity was not consistently positive. The establishment of large numbers of people from inconsistent backgrounds may tend to undermine the fundamental cultural assumptions of societies in which there is a fundamental underlying Christian base - even if very many of their citizens are Christian only nominally, or regard themselves as non-Christians.

    This points to the "untrue" part of the argument. Whatever about Hungary and the East, as far as western Europe is concerned, a predominance of the populace is "post-Christian" in one way or the other. There is a huge amount of anecdotal evidence that, at this stage, this is causing an increasing disconnect between western Europeans and the fundamental basis of our society. If there is a replacement, it is the Cult of Mammon - the worship of Money, and the practice of consumerism. This rather undermines Hungary's "Christian Europe" argument. Furthermore, it leaves the question of what - in the face of "Christian Europe's" hollow core - remains of the EU's ... er ... confusion as to whether the current migrant wave at least for processing, in the face of international law which (while not exactly contrary) suggests that, morally, it should ? Dare I suggest ... racism ? By the way - I am as guilty of "post-Christianism" as anybody else. At least, however, my parents made sure that I was properly educated. Yours from Zagreb Central Station, JR.
    Last edited by JR*; 09-18-2015 at 06:12 AM.

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    Default Re: "Thousands are sailing ...

    Germany is not helping matters with other European countries - declaring that it would accept all the 'Syrian' migrants/refugees that reach it - then proceeding to dictate to the other nations that are part of the schengen agreement that they must share out 160,000 refugees between them.

    Nor does it help itself by attacking the UK for not doing its bit when the UK has already contributed more funds (over one billion pounds so far) towards the refugees in the camps than most of the EU put together.

    The EU can only lurch from one crisis to another, desperately brushing each one under the carpet to be dealt with later by someone else - the carpet is almost touching the ceiling now though.
    IN the days of lace-ruffles, perukes and brocade
    Brown Bess was a partner whom none could despise
    An out-spoken, flinty-lipped, brazen-faced jade,
    With a habit of looking men straight in the eyes
    At Blenheim and Ramillies fops would confess
    They were pierced to the heart by the charms of Brown Bess.

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    Default Re: "Thousands are sailing ...

    Today - September 21 - the EU Council of Ministers for Justice and Internal Affairs meet again, in preparation for a top level summit tomorrow. Could these meetings produce a typical EU "fudge" that will make the situation at least manageable ? Not looking very hopeful at this point, but anything is possible. Meanwhile, the conflicting (and sometimes internally conflicting) policies of various Member States seem confusing to everybody but the smartphone-armed migrants. Chaos. Just as well that Balkan wars have gone out of fashion ... JR.

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    WOW !!! Justice Council votes in favor of a mandatory migrant allocation system by qualified majority, in the face of sustained objections from the Hungary/central European group. Actually taking a vote in Council is an event as rare as hen's teeth. Today (22nd) an "emergency" Council Summit of Heads of Government and State meets to "ratify" this decision. Fur will fly ... Yours from the Fifth Floor, Justus Lipsius Building, under the table ... JR.

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    Default Re: "Thousands are sailing ...

    I just love that Obama said Europe must take its fair share of 'Refugee's/Migrants' while the US takes in 10,000 this year (Germany taking around a million alone this year - massive issues there).
    IN the days of lace-ruffles, perukes and brocade
    Brown Bess was a partner whom none could despise
    An out-spoken, flinty-lipped, brazen-faced jade,
    With a habit of looking men straight in the eyes
    At Blenheim and Ramillies fops would confess
    They were pierced to the heart by the charms of Brown Bess.

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    Default Re: "Thousands are sailing ...

    He just sees himself as Emperor of the World, and has no problem telling Nations what they should do according to the Book of Barack. He should mind his own business when it comes to soverign Nation's concerns, and how they choose to govern their own State's domestic affairs.

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    Default Re: "Thousands are sailing ...

    24 September - yesterday, the Council of Heads of State and Government apparently "ratified" the scheme of mandatory quotas unanimously. The meeting was, it would appear, quite bad-tempered, with angry exchanges between the "Hungarian Bloc" and the north/western Member States. "Unanimity" was, without doubt, secured by spectacular feats of arm-twisting (including crude threats of a financial nature) on the part of Germany, France and Italy in particular ... but safely behind the scenes.

    Remains to be seen whether the scheme will actually work. Its approval - albeit at the EU's highest level - is effectively in principle only. Few details are forthcoming at this stage, suggesting that much savage wrangling between "European Partners" lies ahead. There must also remain the possibility that some or all of the "Hungarian Bloc" have, in reality, no intention of complying with this scheme. Before the Council, the Prime Minister of Slovakia (a core member of the "Hungarian Bloc") declared that, as long as he remained in office, he would not accept an obligatory quota of migrants; indeed, he seemed to suggest that Slovakia would not accept any migrants at all. It is possible that these states hope that the whole scheme will collapse under tons of EU bureaucracy and the pace of events (wouldn't be the first time) and that, consequently, they will adopt a highly obstructive approach in coming backroom negotiations. There is another, tinsy-wintsy problem that has not been much mentioned, yet. This may be expressed as follows. The working (but far from proven) assumption common among the north/west European states seems to be that the vast majority of incoming migrants are "genuine refugees", and can be processed into asylum easily and quickly. Even if this assumption proves correct, it leaves one with the problem of what happens when migrants settled in Hungary, or Portugal, of Poland, or Ireland ... are granted asylum, and do not want to remain in the country in question. While citizenship is a separate issue, and interpretation of the international law in the subject differs somewhat from state to state, the general understanding is that, apart from full voting rights, persons granted political asylum enjoy most of the rights of a citizen in the sheltering state. In the EU context as it stands, this includes not only the right to work in the sheltering state, but the right to travel freely through most states of the EU (Schengen Free Travel Area) and the right to establish themselves, dwell and work in any part of the EU. The United Kingdom which (like Ireland) is not a member of Schengen may be able (or at least try) to restrict inward migration of non-EU citizens from other Member States ... but then again, maybe not, under international law to which the UK subscribes. What then happens if the huge bulk of "genuine refugees" decide that (beyond their initial period of "reception") that they all want to migrate internally to the most prosperous Member States - UK, Germany, Austria ... ? Answer - we don't know, and possible solutions (such as the issue of geographically limited travel documents) may not prove consistent with international law.

    There may be trouble ahead ? You betcha ! Yours from the Schuman Bunker, JR.

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    Default Re: "Thousands are sailing ...

    Quote Originally Posted by JR* View Post
    There is another, tinsy-wintsy problem that has not been much mentioned, yet. This may be expressed as follows. The working (but far from proven) assumption common among the north/west European states seems to be that the vast majority of incoming migrants are "genuine refugees", and can be processed into asylum easily and quickly. Even if this assumption proves correct, it leaves one with the problem of what happens when migrants settled in Hungary, or Portugal, of Poland, or Ireland ... are granted asylum, and do not want to remain in the country in question. While citizenship is a separate issue, and interpretation of the international law in the subject differs somewhat from state to state, the general understanding is that, apart from full voting rights, persons granted political asylum enjoy most of the rights of a citizen in the sheltering state. In the EU context as it stands, this includes not only the right to work in the sheltering state, but the right to travel freely through most states of the EU (Schengen Free Travel Area) and the right to establish themselves, dwell and work in any part of the EU. The United Kingdom which (like Ireland) is not a member of Schengen may be able (or at least try) to restrict inward migration of non-EU citizens from other Member States ... but then again, maybe not, under international law to which the UK subscribes. What then happens if the huge bulk of "genuine refugees" decide that (beyond their initial period of "reception") that they all want to migrate internally to the most prosperous Member States - UK, Germany, Austria ... ? Answer - we don't know, and possible solutions (such as the issue of geographically limited travel documents) may not prove consistent with international law.

    There may be trouble ahead ? You betcha ! Yours from the Schuman Bunker, JR.
    Given that the clear intention of most of these so-called* refugees is to get to the nation with the best human rights, economic and social security prospects after travelling through many other nations which offer less, the most prosperous EU states can expect to be inundated with these so-called refugees regardless of where they happen to land and be given papers in the EU.

    *United Nations Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees

    Article 31

    Refugees unlawfully in the country of refuge

    1. The Contracting States shall not impose penalties, on account of their
    illegal entry or presence, on refugees who, coming directly from a territory
    where their life or freedom was threatened
    in the sense of article 1, enter or
    are present in their territory without authorization, provided they present
    themselves without delay to the authorities and show good cause for their
    illegal entry or presence.

    2. The Contracting States shall not apply to the movements of such refugees
    restrictions other than those which are necessary and such restrictions
    shall only be applied until their status in the country is regularized or they
    obtain admission into another country. The Contracting States shall allow
    such refugees a reasonable period and all the necessary facilities to obtain
    admission into another country.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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