Greece proposes immigration fence; protectionism springing up around world

immigration fence greece

immigration fence greece

“Greece cannot take it any more. These are tough times for us. Our economy is in recession. We have unemployment and serious problems. Greece cannot become the promised land for those who want to leave their countries and come to Europe.” Greek Citizen Protection Minister Christos Papoutsis told lawmakers in Athens on Friday.

The U.N. refugee agency voiced concern on Friday that Greece’s proposed 12.5 km-long fence at its border with Turkey will shut out asylum-seekers fleeing violence and abuse in their troubled homelands.

We ignore Europe’s problems at our peril. No man is an island and no ocean is a national protection against fascism, police state, modern warfare or systemic racism. Overpopulation and poverty spills over borders by land, by sea and by air. We need a more enlightened society and world. Isolationism is not the answer.

Should Greece build an immigration fence?

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Multiculturalism is wonderful, until the ghosts of distant lands wake up among the descendants of the current newcomers from cultures that are incompatible with Christianity and our European roots (as we wrote here before). When people sing the praises to multiculturalism they forget that they are looking at an extremely narrow slice of time that is the present. Conditions that have caused much multicultural grief around the world take decades, sometimes generations to arise. Only homogeneous society can count on stability, anything else is like playing Russian roulette with our kids’ future.

Multiculturalism does not imply cultural assimilation. Cultural assimilation is what the Americans do relatively successfully, and what the Europeans do poorly. Merkel’s calls her country’s multiculturalism failing when in fact what she actually meant was assimilation failing. And without a real multicultural framework no wonder Europe’s social fabric is in decay.

Multiculturalism guise for cheap workers

Germany did not receive any significant immigration since the 1970s? Well, it clearly depends on your definition of immigrants, but the truth is that the “Guest Worker Program” ended in the early 1970s while millions of immigrants and asylum seekers still arrived later (i.e. 3 million from the former Soviet Union since the 1980s). As for Jewish migration – more than 200,000 Jews from Eastern Europe have settled in Germany since 1991 – more than went to Israel during this period. This makes the Jewish community in Germany the third largest in Europe.

About 16 million people in Germany have a migration background and every 5th wedding in Germany today is between a German citizen and a foreign national. There certainly is xenophobia in the country, but German society has traveled a longer way towards a more tolerant and inclusive society than the reporting suggests. There are problems that need to be addressed to provide greater opportunities for immigrants and to reduce the likelihood of parallel societies, but your take on the issue is extremely one-sided (also on the greatness of Canadian policy these days).

The phenomenon of guest workers is an embarrassment that European countries generally and Germany in particular need to address more honestly. Their economy has benefited enormously from these people and they have been treated very poorly.

U.N. refugee agency warns on Greek anti-migrant fence by Reuters (1)

The fence could lead illegal migrants, including people in need of international protection, to resort to even riskier routes with the help of unscrupulous human traffickers, it said.

Greece said on Monday it planned a fence at its border with Turkey in the Evros region to prevent a wave of immigrants flowing into the debt-choked country. Nine out of 10 illegal immigrants use Greece as their springboard into the European Union.

“While every state has the right to control its borders, it is clear that among the many people crossing Turkey toward the European Union, there are a significant number who are fleeing violence and persecution,” Melissa Fleming, spokeswoman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, told a news briefing.

“Building fences, we believe, rarely solves the underlying problem of migratory pressures,” she said.

Greece must establish border control mechanisms that provide concrete guarantees to people seeking international protection, according to the UNHCR. Asylum seekers from Afghanistan form the biggest group entering Greece, followed by those from Somalia, Iraq and Eritrea.


(1) U.N. refugee agency warns on Greek anti-migrant fence

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