Economic crisis danger for the rise of political extremism

The last few years we have seen racist attacks becoming more in vogue again.

Anger at the gates of Ford Genk -Dominic Verhulst /

Some experts blame the situation on the social stress caused by an extended period of economic austerity – unemployment rates are fast approaching high percentages and with closures like the Ford factory in Belgium (4.300 + 3500 from supply companies) , this is not going to improve.

In France, Belgium, Spain and Greece we could hear about several attacks against Jews, migrants, synagogues, mosques, harassment of students, as well as the appearance of people flaunting neo-Nazi paraphernalia around the schools. Many people who do not fit the majority (like “holebis” = homosexuals, lesbians or bisexuals) are stabbed or violently beaten. It looks like Europe is going back into the 1930ies.

In 1919, the famous German scholar Max Weber argued already that charismatic leaders benefit from crisis situations. Today we should listen again to what he had to say. Most contemporary studies of the radical right link economic crisis and the rise of political
extremism emergence to some form of crisis, thought not always (exclusively) economic, connected to some type of modernization process. {See Mabel Berezin, Illiberal Politics in Neoliberal Times: Cultures, Security, and Populism in a New Europe (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009); Kitschelt and McGann, The Radical Right in Western Europe; Betz, Radical Right-Wing Populism in Western Europe.}

In Greece the xenophobic problem seems to be greatest.

As international migration continues to grow in scope, complexity and impact, effectively managing it has steadily moved up on the agenda of the international community.

The number of international migrants increased from 195 million in 2005 to 214 million in 2010, according to the World Bank. This means that more than three percent of the world’s population lives outside their countries of birth.

Remittance flows to developing countries were estimated at 372 billion dollars in 2011, an increase of 12.1 percent over 2010.

Since 2005 Greece has become the main influx point for undocumented migrants, with more than 80 percent entering Europe coming from Turkey through the Aegean Sea or the Northeast mainland boundary of the river Evros.

The vast majority of these migrants hope to move towards Northern Europe. However, clauses in the Dublin II regulations that dictate the returns of irregular immigrants to the country they entered have effectively condemned scores of immigrants to remain stuck in limbo in Greece.

This has transformed the country, and Athens in particular, into a depot of hundreds of thousand of irregular immigrants and asylum seekers, who survive on below-subsistence incomes won in a vast black market.

Last January, several pupils coming out of a high school in Kallithea, a central residential neigbourhood in Athens, attacked a Pakistani passer-by.

Three months ago Human Rights Watch released a report describing how gangs of Greeks carry out attacks against migrants with almost total impunity. Authorities are reportedly ignoring complaints, or discouraging victims from filing them at all.

On July 23, the rape and attempted murder of a 15-year-old girl in the island of Paros by a Pakistani migrant worker, Ahmed Vakas, fueled a wave of attacks against foreigners during which Iraq Aladin, an Iraqi immigrant, was beaten and stabbed to death by five hooded youngsters on August 12.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), along with 20 organisations that comprise the Racist Violence Recording Network, blamed the deterioration of social relations on the “the inability or reluctance of the law enforcement authorities to carry out arrests”.

In several European countries there have been plans to help migrants to contribute to development, but now those countries are facing big problems with reduced labour and lots of unemployed.

Net immigration in Europe in 2001 stood at 3. 0 per 1,000 inhabitants, compared to 3. 1 in the United States (OECD 2004). In 2003 3.7/1000. In 2010, 47.3 million people lived in the EU, who were born outside their resident country. This corresponds to 9.4% of the total EU population. Of these, 31.4 million (6.3%) were born outside the EU and 16.0 million (3.2%) were born in another EU member state. The largest absolute numbers of people born outside the EU were in Germany (6.4 million), France (5.1 million), the United Kingdom (4.7 million), Spain (4.1 million), Italy (3.2 million), and the Netherlands (1.4 million).

Immigrants, 2009 (1)
(per 1 000 inhabitants) – Source: Eurostat (migr_imm1ctz) and (migr_pop1ctz)

Among the nationals from non-member countries living in the EU-27 in 2010, some 45.8 % possessed the citizenship of a high-human development index (HDI)country (with Turkey, Albania and Russia accounting for almost half of these), while a slightly higher share (46.6 %) came from medium-HDI countries (one fifth of whom were citizens of Morocco, with nationals of China and Ukraine the next largest groups), the remaining 7.6 % of nationals of non-member countries living in the EU were from low-HDI countries (30 % of whom had Nigerian or Iraqi citizenship). In order to give some perspective, a breakdown of the world’s population (outside of the EU) shows that the medium-HDI group accounted for by far the largest share (68.4 %) of global inhabitants, followed by those living in the high-HDI group (21.3 %) and the low-HDI group (10.4 %).

English: 2010 HDI (Very High) nations graph by...

English: 2010 HDI (Very High) nations graph by population size and region (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today much more immigrants have found their way into the open European boarders..

Migration programmes to facilitate access to the labour market by migrants clearly do not work and many East Europeans are offering their labour very cheap, working under market value and very bad working conditions. Several Polish sleep with many either in a small room are derelict hangars. (The fire and several deaths last Winter, brought to light that slavery is not whipped out in Flanders.)

In 2005, the European Commission relaunched the debate on the need for a common set of rules for the admission of economic migrants with a Green paper on an EU approach to managing economic migration which led to the adoption of a policy plan on legal migration at the end of 2005. Soon they found out this did not bring a solution to keep everything safe. So they had to find a way striking a balance between security and an individuals’ basic rights during all stages of the illegal immigration process. In July 2006, the European Commission adopted therefore a Communication on policy priorities in the fight against illegal immigration of third-country nationals.

Six years later still a lot of economical migrants and would be opportunists and  thieves still do find it heaven on earth in West Europe. But more and more European civilians do feel pushed in the corner and taken out of work because of the cheap labour on the black market.

With the creation of MPI Europe, in 2011, a research institute became based in Brussels that draws upon its own staff and leverages MPI’s deep relationships with European Union and national policymakers, NGOs, academics, foundations, and other opinion leaders to bring conducted research and analysis of European policy on topics ranging from labor migration and border security to immigrant integration and citizenship.

English: HDI (UN Human Development Index, 2010...

English: HDI (UN Human Development Index, 2010) versus GDP per capita (Gross Domestic Product, per capita, Pruchasing Power Parity, 2009). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Additionally, the Migration Policy Institute conducts significant work on Europe through its Transatlantic Council on Migration, a unique deliberative body that examines vital policy issues and informs migration policymaking processes across the Atlantic; and through research projects and partnerships funded through grants from the European Union and others. In one such project in partnership with the European University Institute, MPI conducted the US-EU Immigration Systems project, which identified ways European and US immigration systems can be substantially improved.

Work has to be made of getting the influence of radical-right parties that share a core ideology of nativism, authoritarianism, and populism unmasked. Several think with the loss of the Vlaams Belang at the last comunal elections in Belgium that radical right wing party would be so diminished that it shall soon disappear, but they forget that many members of the Vlaams Belang now voted for the Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie (N-VA) because that was the only way they make their vote of some value and been countable.

Today we see the problems of the expansion greed of the European Union. Instead of having the countries of the East having sorted out their internal problems and having them on track, away form the communist system in a working capitalist system, they took Poland and other eastern European countries to early in the European Union in 2004. This produced a beating of the was in the West with an unexpected surge and around one million of Polish living in Great Britain now, with net migration running at about 40,000 a year.

Few public policies have specifically sought to advance immigrant integration, and the political debates surrounding immigrant integration have often been fraught and destabilizing, reflecting deep-seated ambivalence in West European society about immigrants and immigration. The immigration may be a strong trigger to vote for the radical right wing parties, but the world should be aware that radical-right parties are clearly not single-issue parties.

In line with their nativism, migration and migrants are seen as multifaceted threats. At least four frames (cultural, religious security, and economic) are used in the propaganda of Western European nativist movements.
The predominant frame is cultural, in which migration is seen as a threat to the cultural homogeneity of  the home nation. Depending on how strictly the nativist ideology is  interpreted, migrants are considered to be either unable or unwilling to assimilate in the host culture.

Geert Wilders founder and leader of the Party for Freedom (Partij voor de Vrijheid – PVV)

Though we get more unemployment still a lot of people from Eastern Europe, Africa and Azia consider the West still a place of milk and honey. They do not seem to get that there is an economical earthquake in West Europe and that the nations over-there are flooded by a “tsunami” of migrants. (Dutch PVV leader Geert Wilders often refers to a “tsunami of islamization.”)

While much of Islamophobia is in fact cultural xenophobia, the religious angle adds important aspects to the debate. Most importantly, nativists consider Islam a fundamentalist religion; Dutch PVV leader Geert Wilders, for example, has called Islam “an intolerant and fascist ideology.” {Dolf Hendriks, “‘Ondertekenaars oproep zijn onnozel’,” Algemeen Dagblad, January 2, 2008.}

This phenomena of fear for the Islam we encounter also by the American general public since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when a religious frame has accompanied the cultural one. Increasingly the immigrant is seen as a Muslim, not a Turk or Moroccan. While Muslims have been migrating to Western Europe since the 1960s, their numbers and visibility have increased significantly since the 1980s, in part as a consequence of family reunification and growth in asylum seekers. Today, by conservative estimates, approximately 13 million Muslims live within the European Union (an estimated 2.5 percent of the EU population). The vast majority of active Muslims live in Western Europe, most notably in France (3.5
million), Germany (3.4 million), and the United Kingdom (1.6 million). Countries with the relative largest Muslim populations include the Netherlands (6 percent) and France (5 percent). {European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia, Muslims in the European Union: Discrimination and Islamophobia (Vienna: European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia, 2006),}

In many Western European countries, the Muslim population is relatively young and growing much faster than the non-Muslim population; for example, in both Austria and Switzerland, the Muslim population quadrupled between 1980 and 2000.

In Belgium the Muslims are religious more active than Christians or protestants, though lots of people consider it to be a Catholic country (where only 6% still goes to Mass, against 25% going to the mosque). Still Filip Dewinter of the Vlaams Belang, does not want to consider  the possibility of a moderate Islam. Several right wings argue that Muslims threaten key aspects of Western democracies, such as the separation of state and church, the equal position of women, and growing support for gay rights (although many radical-right parties are too homophobic to take up this point).

Some parties argue, in line with ethnopluralist ideology, that immigrants become criminals because they have been uprooted from their natural environment. Radical-right magazines are full of short news articles about criminal offenses, such as murder and rape, committed by “aliens.” They argue that immigrants are much more likely to commit criminal acts than the host population, but that the real level of crime is being kept from the public by  politically correct politicians. Moreover, they decry the allegedly soft way in which the state deals with these criminals and want them to be either expelled or punished more severely. As in the case of the religious frame, the security frame is used not just by the radical right.
Particularly after 9/11, the immigration debate in Europe and North America has become “securitized,” with immigration policy increasingly made in light of national security. {See Ariane Chebel d’Appollonia and Simon Reich, eds., Immigration, Integration, and Security: America and Europe in Comparative Perspective (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2008); Christopher Rudolph, National Security and Immigration: Policy  Development in the United States and Western Europe since 1945 (Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 2006).}

Lots of people are afraid of a so called Euro-Arab axis, where immigrants would be infiltrators to destabilise the Euro-American relations and would be tools of sinister political forces.
With varying degrees of conspiracy theories — some more anti-Semitic, others more anticapitalist — mass immigration is presented as a willing plot of (inter)national politicians, business leaders, and trade union leaders to strengthen their own position at the expense of the average citizen. Moreover, in line with their populism, the elite (seen as a homogenous corrupt entity) are accused of covering up the real costs of immigration
and of muffling the people through antidiscrimination laws and political correctness.

In Belgium the 1960’s -70’s brought in a lot of Polish and Italian immigrants to come to Belgium to work in the mines. When they got closed they found a solution in placing them in the auto-mobile sector. But now with the fourth auto constructor closing his business all those (ex) immigrants are now without work and facing a hostile labour market.

As in Greece and France these older immigrants shall be depicted as a financial
burden to the host society, taking jobs away from the natives and/or draining social benefits. Slogans popular among radical-right parties note the number of unemployed natives, juxtaposed with the larger number of immigrants. Some utter the voice that the immigrants should go back to their own country, but many do live here already for several years and are fully integrated. they are not like the newer lot of economical immigrants who are often not interested at all in work as such, but look more for the benefits they can get in our economical welfare system. The argument of many is that if immigrants are sent back to their countries of origin, there will be enough money to provide decent services to natives.

Randall Hansen writes: “Without growth there are no jobs for immigrants or anyone else. The point is obvious but worth making in that the scholarly conversation about immigration is often divorced from the study of economics and political economy. It is easier said than done, but those concerned with integrating immigrants should be first concerned with achieving growing economies with dynamic labor markets. Two points are
relevant here. First, a resolution of the 2008-present banking and sovereign debt crisis in the eurozone is widely viewed by economists and governments as a precondition to restoring stable economic growth in Europe, above all in the southern countries. Doing so would involve reducing debt levels to a point that reassures the bond markets and attending to low competiveness (which is a function of labor costs and productivity) in southern Europe relative to Germany and the Nordic countries. Assuming no exit from
the eurozone, increasing competiveness involves wage and price deflation or increased productivity. The latter imposes far less economic pain, and it relates to the second point: increasing attention to education may benefit both immigrants and the overall society. Econometric research has long shown that, subject to some variation by region, profession, and gender, education correlatives positively with both personal income growth and national wealth.”

In Europe today we can see that several debtor countries pay substantial risk premiums to finance their debt, which is reflected in their high economy-wide borrowing costs and undermines the normal development as well as the political stability. They are been pushed into a deflationary tailspin and are put at a substantial – and potentially permanent – competitive disadvantage vis-à-vis creditor countries, of which the most creditworthy country, Germany occupies a dominant position. Germany remains willing to do the minimum – and nothing more – to hold the Euro together, and the EU’s recent steps have merely reinforced German resistance to further concessions. This will perpetuate the division between creditor and debtor countries.

Immigration Vocabulary

Immigration Vocabulary (Photo credit: Wesley Fryer)

George Soros, chairman of Soros Fund Management and of the Open Society Institute, established an Open Society Initiative for Europe (OSIFE). In doing so, he recognised that the best place to start would be where current policies have created the greatest human suffering: Greece. The people who are suffering are not those who abused the system and caused the crisis.

“The fate of the many migrant and asylum-seekers caught in Greece is particularly heart-rending.” he says. “But their plight cannot be separated from that of the Greeks themselves. An initiative confined to migrants would merely reinforce the growing xenophobia and extremism in Greece.
I could not figure out how to approach this seemingly intractable problem until I recently visited Stockholm to commemorate the centenary of Raoul Wallenberg’s birth. This reawakened my memories of World War II – the calamity that eventually gave birth to the EU.”

“The EU’s asylum policy has broken down. Refugees must register in the member country where they enter, but the Greek government cannot process the cases.
Some 60,000 refugees who sought to register have been put into detention facilities where conditions are inhumane. Migrants who do not register and live on the street are attacked by the hooligans of the neo-fascist Golden Dawn party.
Sweden has made migration and asylum policy a high priority, while Norway is concerned about the fate of migrants in Greece. So both countries would be prime candidates to support solidarity houses. And other better-off countries could join them.
OSIFE is ready to provide support for this initiative, and I hope other foundations will be eager to do the same. But this has to be a European project – one that eventually must find its way into the European budget.”

Fears about a new wave of Eastern European immigration, which would put West European workers’ jobs at risk, have been expressed in many Western European countries.

Britain facing new eastern Europe immigration surge

Poland and other Eastern European countries gained the same rights in 2004 under the ‘freedom of movement’ rule Photo: ALAMY

British Mr Nuttall, local UKIP Euro-MP, expresses the worries of many Britains,that there will be an unprecedented crime wave in Britain when Bulgarians and Romanians have open door access to our borders. In Belgium we can see this already. Many Romanian gangs are very active in Flemish Brabant.

Twenty nine million Bulgarians and Romanians will acquire the unrestricted right to live and work in Britain in 2014 under European “freedom of movement” rules.

“The government’s Migration Advisory Committee has already expressed concern that the British labour market will suffer adverse effects as a result,” said Mr Nuttall.

“We all know what happened when Poland and other Eastern European countries gained the same rights in 2004 and the scale of immigration is likely to be increased because of the economic crisis gripping Europe.”

Bulgarian and Romanian citizens have had restricted rights to come to Britain since they joined the European Union in 2007, but those limits will be lifted at the end of December next year, opening the way for them to move freely.

“These ‘freedom of movement’ rules are damaging the job prospects of British people.”

“No doubt the reluctance of the Home Office to predict the scale of the immigration from these two countries is because they grossly underestimated the wave of migration in 2004 when citizens from eight Eastern European were given full access to the UK job market.”

Mr Nuttall does find that there is only way to stop the deluge of immigrants adversely affecting our labour market and also putting an intolerable strain on our housing stock, education and health services. And that is for Britain to leave the EU and govern its own borders. But it would be better for Britain’s economy that it comes into the Euro and that the European Union restrict entrance into the union much more, at the same time  demanding that all over the Union workers in a certain country should have to work on the same conditions as the other workers in the region where they are working. Also with no trucks driving on Sunday, from whatever origin the driver may be, and all with the same amount of work-hours and rest times.

On 31 December 2013 countries’ citizens currently having restricted rights to come to  Britain shall find themselves free to move around and also enter Great Britain. According to  , and Colin Freeman the restrictions will be lifted at a time when there is increasing political tension over Britain’s relationship with Europe and questions over whether European “freedom of movement” rules have harmed the job prospects of British people.

Theresa May, the British Home Secretary, has already indicated she is keen to press for an end to the free movement of EU workers. But there appears to be no prospect of Britain preventing the restrictions being lifted, as it would involve tearing up the provisions of the treaty signed when Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU.

All the memberstates of the European Union should accept, and the members themselves should know, in the future, they shall have to move places  all over Europe to find a suitable job. If the person who does a “Job Journey” has to receive an extra bonus from the local government is doubtful. The scheme organised by the local authorities in the town of Soderhamn and by Sweden’s national employment office, anyone aged between 18 and 28 can volunteer to take a “Job Journey” to Oslo and attempt track down gainful  employment,  with Soderhamn council picking up the £20 a night bill for an Oslo youth hostel for a month,  may be a solution.
So far around 100 people have decided to leave Soderhamn, a town of 12,000, 250 kilometres due north of Stockholm, to try their luck in the bright ights of Oslo, and some, at least, have struck gold.

Freedom of movement should be there in the whole European Union, but this would have to include that all people living and working in a region should have to live and work on the same conditions as other people who live and work in that region. No exceptions should be allowed.


Please do read:

The Centrality of Employment in Immigrant Integration in Europe
By Randall Hansen
The two sides of the debate on immigration and integration in Europe share an underlying assumption that the problem is cultural, while disagreeing on whether it is the result of too much or too little respect for cultural differences. Both get the issue wrong, this report contends, calling attention to the inability of policies to ensure immigrants acquire and retain work. Employment, not culture, must be the basis for immigration policy in Europe, the author suggests.

Xenophobia Rises from Ashes of Greek Economy

Xenophobes Find Police Protection in Greece

About Ford:

De Croo: ‘Brugpensioen op 50 onverantwoord’

Blokkade Genk bedreigt buitenlandse fabrieken

Verslagenheid slaat stilaan om in woede aan bedrijfspoorten in Genk


About moving for a job:

Sweden pays jobless youth to move to Norway

Britain facing new eastern Europe immigration surge
Britain is facing a new wave of Eastern European immigration which will put British workers’ jobs at risk, experts have warned.

Twenty nine million Bulgarians and Romanians will gain the right to live and work unrestricted in Britain in 2014 under European “freedom of movement” rules.


Despite official predictions that less than 20,000 would arrive, some 669,000 people from those eight countries were working in the UK as of last year, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Experts on the government’s Migration Advisory Committee agree immigration is likely to rise when the restrictions are lifted, and have warned it will have a negative effect on the job market in Britain.
GDP per capita in 2010 was £3,929 ($6,325) in Bulgaria – the poorest country in the EU – and £4,682 ($7,538) in Romania compared with £22,426 ($36,100) in the UK. Both countries have falling populations due to emigration.


  • George Soros: Helping Greek migrants would show European solidarity (
    Offering food and shelter to Greek migrants and community centres to the local population would be a powerful response to the fascist sentiment of Golden Dawn.
  • Extreme right strengthens as Greece economy sinks (
    With the Greek unemployment rate at 25 percent, anti-foreigner sentiment is growing. NBC News’ Andy Eckardt meets politician Ilias Panagiotaros of the far-right Golden Dawn party and Ali Rahimi, an Afghan national who was attacked by a mob and told to leave Greece.
    The Golden Dawn party – no more than an extremist fringe group when it was established in the late 1980s and which has been branded “neo-Nazi” by its opponents – has been gaining support amid the country’s deteriorating economic situation.

    Backing for the ultra-nationalist Golden Dawn, which has been linked to a rise in attacks against migrants in recent months, stood at 14 percent, double their take in June elections that gave the party a foothold in parliament. That would make the group the country’s third largest party.

    The party’s rabidly anti-immigrant message has stuck a chord with many voters as EU/IMF imposed austerity propels unemployment levels to a record 25 percent.

    Golden Dawn denies it is neo-Nazi but bears a Swastika-like emblem and its supporters have been seen giving Nazi-style salutes. The party’s leader, Nikolaos Mihaloliakos, has denied the Holocaust occurred while one lawmaker, Eleni Zaroulia, called immigrants “sub-humans” in parliament on Thursday.

  • Here, There, and Everywhere (
    I’m a migrant. I am incredibly migrant-y, in fact. You know what migrants do? Expand the gene pool. So basically, we are saving you from all the problems associated with inbreeding (it’s not healthy you know), and making life that much more interesting.At the moment, lots of people in the world are hating on migrants. I think this is dumb. But then if I disagree with something someone else thinks, I think they’re dumb. Anyway. As a whole the migration debates are pretty stupid. All the talk of illegal immigration stealing jobs from ‘the natives’ are incredibly adolescent. Chances are migrants do the jobs the natives don’t want to do. You know, like actual hard, soul crushing, probably disgusting, unrespected work.
    In America, where there is lots of talk about the economy and a general ‘they took our jobs‘ attitude. A lot has been said about Arizona’s (and a number of other places, including Georgia) immigration laws. In the south of the US there seems to be this attitude that the entire economy will run smoothly without all those dastardly immigrants, and their cheap labour, conveniently forgetting how hard it was to get the economy going again after the civil war after all the slaves were set free, because you know, they actually had to pay people to work (obviously the war itself didn’t help – but you get my point). Eric Schlosser (of Fast Food Nation fame) wrote about migrant labour, and it’s reliance on migrants paid little wages. The sheer audacity of believing that it is pleasant work anyone and everyone wants to do is mind boggling.
    Migration is a wonderful thing. It brings countless benefits to all areas of societies. It is too often demonised by those who wish to find fault with someone or something else, rather than holding a mirror up to themselves and realising they are close minded, short sighted, and have some misguided sense of superiority, when in fact they are akin to pond scum. You will find migrants, here, there, and everywhere. They may be lurking in the shadows, or under the bed. But chances are they are probably your postman, or bus driver, or nurse, or cashier, or vet, or tailor, or waitress, or chef, or some other meaningless part of your life you don’t notice, and they don’t affect.
  • Theresa May considers curbs on EU migration (
    Theresa May

    Theresa May wants to review the way EU rules allow partners of EU citizens to reside in the EU Photograph: Peter Byrne/AFP/Getty Images

    Theresa May is examining wide-ranging curbs on the European Union‘s free movement of workers, including access to the UK for dependants of EU citizens, and fresh curbs on access to benefits for EU citizens.

    The home secretary believes she can make changes to one of the central pillars of the EU with the support of other member states such as the Netherlands, although Foreign Office sources are concerned that any curbs could lead to reprisals for UK citizens living abroad, such as UK pensioners in Spain.

    At the moment, citizens of European economic area (EEA) countries who want to claim unemployment benefit have to pass an habitual residence test, proving they intend to settle in the UK or have a legal right to reside in the country. Migrants without a job who are not a dependent of a worker or self-employed person, or are judged to be a burden on public funds, currently fail the test. Access to other social security benefits are subject to different tests.

    May wants to review the way EU rules allow partners of EU citizens to reside in the EU. Once they enter the territory of the host member state, non-EU family members enjoy the same right of residence as the person they are accompanying, provided they hold a valid passport. The free movement directive extends the right to equal treatment – including access to social assistance – to non-EU family members who have the right of residence or permanent residence in the host member state

  • SOROS: We Can Help Suffering Greeks The Same Way One WWII Hero Saved Many Jews (
    Greece’s debt crisis is a human crisis.
    The economy’s demise has come with the rise of the extremist Golden Dawn party, which is seen as a modern day Nazi party. Even their symbol (see right) resembles the swastika.
    Reports have proliferated of immigrants being harassed and beaten by Golden Dawn members as police turn a blind eye.
  • Blair proposes a directly elected President of Europe (
    From crisis can come opportunity. Out of this European crisis can come the opportunity finally to achieve a model of European integration that is sustainable. But right now this opportunity is heavily disguised. There is an old joke told about the stranger who asks the Irishman the way to his destination and is told “Well I wouldn’t have started from here.”
    The ESM is still untested and whilst deficit reduction plans are absolutely necessary, austerity makes policies for growth tough. Indeed sometimes it seems as if the public is being given the choice of austerity with reform; or growth without reform. We need growth and reform. And we need liquidity, solvency and growth issues addressed together. Without this, and especially without growth, the pain of the adjustment in debtor countries is frighteningly hard and several years of it may not be politically possible. This is again where politics and economics have to align.
    Butany new political union has to balance more carefully than ever before, the nation state and EU integration. This is the hardy perennial of debates over European political union. But now the union proposed for economic decision making reaches right into the heart of decisions normally reserved for national Governments and Parliaments. Though the British are often standard bearers of the nation state side of this debate, it is clear many march behind that standard. There is a reason for the referendum results in France and the Netherlands in 2005 and it wasn’t just domestic politics overshadowing a European decision.
    Europe will mean more to people and be supported more by them if Europe re-focusses on practical issues that improve their lives in tangible ways. They understand the need for Europeanaction on jobs, on trade, on making the financial sector work for their interests not against them; on common energy policy; a common struggle against illegal immigration and organised crime; even on common defence in a world of increasing security risks and declining defence budgets. I think they could be persuaded to understand the sense of common co-operation on higher education, on science and research on a much bigger scale than present efforts; and likewise with art and culture. If this were combined with a sensible push for subsidiarity,this could amount to a package that would work.

About Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".
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