Plans to allow the United Kingdom an exemption from EU rules on freedom of movement for up to seven years while retaining access to the single market are being considered in European capitals as part of a potential deal on Brexit.
One thing is certain. With hostility growing among genuine refugees and an increasing number of Germans, Mrs Merkel’s grand project isn’t looking so grand these days.
When I am asked to describe the European Union, I often say that it is a bit like a mirage. We all know how a mirage works. From far away, the image is clear and strong. As you get closer, it starts to wobble and shimmer until eventually it disappears.
The EU is like that. Seen from national capitals, be they London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Bratislava or Madrid, it looks clear and distinct. It has its own institutions, its own buildings, even its own legal order. It can punish national governments for over-spending and close national banks. But as you get closer to Brussels, this image begins to wobble. Finally, when you are really up close, it disappears altogether.
Austria has hammered the latest nail in the coffin to the ailing ‘free movement’ Schengen by installing huge fences at four border crossings as well as border checks at a major transport point.
From June, checks will begin in Brenner Pass, the major motorway linking the country with Italy as part of a €1million tightening of borders set to cause chaos for commuters, hauliers and local businesses.
A majority of British people would vote to leave the European Union in the wake of the migrant crisis engulfing the continent, a shock new Mail on Sunday poll has found.
European Commission spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic
The European Commission has suggested member states to open a new chapter in Turkey’s stalled EU membership talks, a senior diplomatic source told Anadolu Agency on June 12.
The EU’s executive body submitted a letter to the European Council on June 12, proposing opening the Economic and Monetary Policy chapter in accession talks, the senior diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“We are expecting a decision by the European Council before the summer break,” the diplomat claimed.
European Commission spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic confirmed the move late June 12…
A volunteer talks to a group of migrants as police officers stand in front of the door of a train bound for Munich, Germany, at Bolzano railway station, Italy May 28, 2015. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini
Hundreds of migrants brought to Italy after being rescued at sea camped on streets near Rome’s Tiburtina train station and gathered in Milan’s main terminal on Thursday, making a brief stop on their journey to northern Europe.
At Tiburtina, migrants from Syria, Eritrea, Somalia and Ethiopia were among those resting in the shade under olive and fig trees. Children played in the supermarket nearby, and dozens napped on cardboard under an overpass.
Italy is struggling to handle the summertime surge in migrants, with thousands rescued at sea each week and more than 50,000 so far this year. Almost 2,000 have drowned.
Some northern Italian regions have refused to take in more migrants sent from crowded official reception centers down south, and now another crisis is brewing as local authorities struggle to deal with thousands heading north under their own steam.
“People say Italy is not good for migrants, so we want to leave,” said Abdi Mohammed Adem, a 19-year-old Somali rescued 15 days ago by the Italian navy. His goal is to reach Germany or Britain, he said…
One of the men jumps out of a hole in the side of the lorry as others flee across the road in picturesque Bourton-on-the-Water Photo: Xposure
Police arrested nine men suspected of being illegal immigrants after they were seen escaping from a lorry in a Cotswold village.
Officers were called on Tuesday morning after the men were seen leaving the vehicle, thought to be from Romania.
All nine men were arrested, as well as the driver, following the incident in Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire…
A quarter of European Union workers in Britain have arrived here in the last four years, new figures have revealed as the total reached a new high of just under two million.
Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed 1.95 million people born in the 27 other EU member states were working here in the first quarter of this year.
It was an increase of almost half a million on 2011 figures, equivalent to the population of Liverpool.
The overall total included a record number of eastern European migrants working in this country.
The ONS said there were 1.13 million migrant workers from eastern Europe in the first three months of this year, compared with about 640,000 in 2010.
Critics said the figures showed that EU free movement rules were putting huge pressure on wages, the NHS and other public services, and called for new limits to be placed on numbers…
This illustrates the other problem with mass immigration: even if we agree that the Eastern Europeans will on the whole assimilate well, there are just too many people trying to live in the few desirable parts of the world.
See also ‘Britain took in more migrants than 17 other EU countries put together, new data shows,’ May 12, 2015. I suspect they are going to the UK because it easier to find work there.
The Anglo model of capitalism is not popular on the Continent and there all sorts of strict labour laws that make it much harder to find work.
This is drawing people to other Anglo countries too. I just read last night about how New York City can barely absorb all the people who want to live there. The article discusses how the only way to grow is construct higher buildings, which cast shadows on the proles visiting, say, Central Park.
Yet the article contains the sentence: ‘[The shadows are] a stark reminder that the new growth needed in healthy cities can come at the expense of people already living there.’
Growth, growth, growth… Good for business but no one else. House prices beyond the reach of the middle class? Tough. It cannot go on indefinitely but short term profits are all that matters.
‘Migrants’ disembark from the Italian navy ship Vega in the Sicilian harbour of Augusta, southern Italy, May 4, 2015. REUTERS/Antonio Parrinello
The home secretary, Theresa May, has hardened Britain’s refusal to accept a mandatory European Union refugee quota system being put forward in Brussels this week in response to the Mediterranean migrant boat crisis.
The Home Office has said it will refuse to accept any refugees under this week’s proposed EU emergency resettlement programme. But it has now said it will also refuse to take part in any future permanent EU system to relocate asylum seekers who make it across the Mediterranean or to resettle refugees from outside Europe.
The hardening of Britain’s refusal to share any responsibility for the refugees or migrants caught up in the Mediterranean boat crisis was roundly criticised by British refugee organisations. “It is shameful that the British government seems eager to opt out of doing the right thing by some of the world’s most desperate people,” said Anna Musgrave of the Refugee Council…
…The home secretary insisted that the focus instead must be on targeting and stopping the people-smugglers behind the trade across the Mediterranean, including establishing “a more effective process of returning illegal migrants”…
Related: The UK also wants to slow down the influx of people moving from parts of the EU in order to receive benefits, by making it harder to obtain them.
This would require changes to the EU treaties. Today, Germany has announced they refuse to consider any EU treaty changes.
(Reuters) – Hungary needs legislation to keep out a wave of immigrants from poor countries, even if it would run counter to existing European Union rules, Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said.
Brussels should allow EU member states to set their own rules about migrants, adding that the inflow of immigrants was not good to Europe generally, he told Echo TV in an interview aired late on Friday.
“We don’t want to see immigrants in Hungary,” he said. “If (other EU members) want to receive immigrants, they can do it. But then they should not send them back here, or through us”…
Good luck with that! You are in the EUSSR now.
‘Migrants’ at a center in Libya awaiting the trip to Europe. Source. Tyler Hicks/The New York Times
PALERMO, Sicily (AP) — Fleeing war, persecution and poverty, migrants desperate to reach Europe are paying thousands of dollars apiece to become pawns in a multimillion-dollar trafficking network that stretches from the Sahara to Sweden.
By the thousands, they’re handing themselves over to abusive smugglers who hold them hostage in wretched conditions in Libya until their families cough up the cash to fund their trips, using companies like Western Union or more often the informal money transfer network known as hawala that is common in much of the Arabic world.
Those payments fund treacherous trips across the Mediterranean that have killed hundreds of people in recent weeks. And even if migrants survive the crossing, the exploitation doesn’t end there: Smugglers, acting more like illicit travel agents than criminal gangs, arrange passage to safe houses in Sicily, buy bus tickets for new arrivals and even accompany their charges to their final destinations north, for thousands of dollars apiece…
Related: UN complains about ‘migrant’ centres in Libya. I’m sure they’ll be right on it.
Recently I wrote a blog about an alien smuggling incident in the Mediterranean Sea that resulted in the charge of murder being levied against some of the participants after they threw other participants off the boat to drown.
Since then, another massive tragedy unfolded in those waters when a vessel holding hundreds of migrants being smuggled capsized in international waters off Libya while en route to Europe. Only a few survived. The figures of the dead have ranged from 700 to 900; no one is certain how many were aboard to begin with. The Tunisian boat captain and his Syrian mate have been charged with negligent homicide by Italian authorities…
…What EU officials in their calculations failed to grasp is that there is only one thing likely to make intended migrants sit up and take notice: inability to reach their destination…
“…The Dublin Regulation, central to the EU’s asylum and migration policy, is at the heart of this catastrophe, stipulating that the country of first arrival must take responsibility for the asylum claim. The inanity of this regulation comes into focus when you consider the Schengen open-border agreement and its implication in this context. For if Schengen did not exist, if it was not so easy to travel across Europe unnoticed and migrants would not be arriving in such swarms. The migrants are told that once they reach Italy, Europe is open to them.”
Italians are in growing revolt against the number of migrants arriving on their shores, with more than 10,000 people rescued from the Mediterranean in the past week alone.
The huge influx of asylum seekers from the Middle East and Africa is putting an intolerable strain on a country that has been in recession for the past five years.
Conservative politicians called this week for boatloads of refugees to be sent back to Libya, while the system of migrant reception centres is on the verge of collapse.
The government in Rome has asked regional authorities to provide 6,500 new beds for migrants who are arriving on a daily basis in Sicily and the tiny island of Lampedusa.
But many regions responded grudgingly – some with downright hostility – saying they had no space to offer.
Val d’Aosta, a small, mountainous region on the French border, offered to take just one refugee.
There was also a frosty reception from the wealthy northern region of Lombardy…
Related: EU faces fury of rights groups after new migrant shipwreck tragedy (AFP) – Rights groups lashed out at the EU on Wednesday for scrapping rescue operations in the Mediterranean, saying it had endangered the lives of thousands of desperate migrants making perilous journeys across the sea.
The criticism came as Italian coastguards said no more survivors had been found from a shipwreck off the coast of Libya on Sunday which may have killed 400 people…