Once upon a time, Albania was a communist country. Those of us who grew up in the 50s were indoctrinated with the notion that anyone who ‘escaped’ from a communist country was nothing short of a Hero. We fondly imagined them as Steve McQueen from our annual Christmas Day fare of The Great Escape.
In the 1990s, the communist government lost power, and the same people, escaping from the same country, miraculously turned into ‘illegal immigrants’. It must have been as confusing for them as it was for us. Suddenly they became ‘undesirables’.
The Italians sent gun boats to turn them back. Still 28,000 of them braved the open sea for their chance to be greeted as heroes. They found themselves in the stinking port of Brindisi. What to do with 28,000 heroes that no one wanted? The Italians were appalled. They set up barricades in their ports. Another 16,000 crashed the barricades…the Italians sent them back to Albania by plane arbitrarily declaring Albania now a ‘safe country’.
Somehow word was not getting through to the Albanians still in their homeland that they were actually living in a paradise that was infinitely preferable to life on an Italian harbour front with no food, water, or sanitation. Nor that they were no longer heroes, but were now illegal immigrants.
The politicians came up with a masterstroke. Admit Albania to the European Union! Albania was graded on concepts like Intellectual Property Law and Climate Change and it was agreed that though there was ‘room for improvement’ at least the concept of ‘Freedom of movement for Workers’ could be implemented…
Voila! No more Heroes, no more illegal immigrants, nor even refugees; the roaming Albanians were now European Citizens in all but name searching for work. End of problem – they could get the train like everybody else. So simple.
Now Italy is under siege once again, this time from Eritrea, Sudan and Libya. Men and Women who would be ‘Free’ are piling into old rust bucket boats and trying to land in Lampedusa. Many of them never get that far – some 3,000 died last year alone, but we weren’t overly worried about the ones that died with only several dozen of their companions – it was when 500 died in one batch, including 100 children that we really got agitated.
It’s like car accidents, see – every year around 1,000 people are fatally smashed to smithereens in their latest model whatever – but put five or six of them in the same vehicle and suddenly we want to know how their nearest and dearest feel about their loss, and need to be reassured that children in the local school are receiving ‘appropriate counselling’. We’re funny like that. I often wonder how the nearest and dearest of all the others killed on the same day must feel about their lowly place in our compassion based solely on their loved ones decision to be a ‘sole occupant’ of a vehicle.
heroes escaping from dictatorship in Libya, whoops, illegal immigrants, nope, (now consigned to one liquid coffin so lets try ‘desperate refugees’) did engage our compassion. But what to do? The answer is obvious.
Let Eritrea, Sudan and Libya join the European Union! Then they can all be ‘engaging their right to freedom of travel for workers’. End of problem, they will all be living in the paradise that is the European Union – why would anyone want to leave? (Apart from the British of course. They want to escape en masse).
Back in 1918, when northern Morocco was a Spanish protectorate, there was a proposal for a tunnel between the two countries, like the English channel tunnel. It was technical problems and the fear of another Moorish invasion which saw the project dropped, rather than a political or economic decision.
It has been revived. By the European Union, naturally. The Euromed project is busy having meetings and conferences, flying experts hither and thither. Feasibility studies are underway and the Swiss engineer Giovanni Lombardi, hired to design the tunnel. Just one fly in the ointment. Finance. At the moment it is a joint Spanish and Moroccan initiative – but with lots of EU involvement. Spain and France are building high speed railways which will connect up with it. As is Britain – from London right up to the frozen north. Bring Morocco into the European Union and the EU can announce it as an EU initiative.
Just think. No more drowning Eritreans. They can get the train straight to Glasgow. Doesn’t that give you a warm glow?
What’s that you say? There aren’t enough schools or food or medical care? Look, that’s not my department – I’m giving you a political solution to the problem of illegal immigration without shooting anybody, or drowning them…I’m creating lots of jobs.
Did you know there’s a Tunnelling Academy in London? It’s the only one in Europe. We’re training a generation of young men as novice nozzle sprayers…once Cross-rail is finished, they will be available for tunnelling projects all over Europe.
Herman Sörgel’s nightmare vision of artificially solving all the major problems of European civilisation by constructing an embankment at the Gibraltar Strait to create a new continent, ‘Atlantropa‘, consisting of Europe and Africa, has come a significant step closer.
Sörgel was run down by an unknown car in 1952, but his Atlantropa Institute continued to peddle the idea of combining Europe and North Africa right up until 1960. The central feature was a hydroelectric dam to be built across the Strait of Gibraltar – that may happen yet! – in the meantime, the architects of European foreign policy have contented themselves with a ‘legislative’ bridge.
On New Year’s Day 2010, the ‘Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly’ was born. It is the bastard child of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership; a birth shrouded in secrecy and misinformation. A Google search under ‘news‘ for this EU organisation reveals not one, not a single mention, in the British press. It has taken two days of searching through foreign language items to write this article.
When you consider the impact that this involuntary euthanasia of European life will have, it is nothing short of criminal that it has been ignored by the main stream media.
The goal of the Euro-Mediterranean cooperation is to create a new Greater European Union encompassing both Europe and North Africa, with the Mediterranean Sea becoming a domestic Eurabian sea. The goal is to establish a “comprehensive political partnership,” including a “free trade area and economic integration”; “considerably more money for the partners”; and “cultural partnership”.
The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership now includes all 27 member states of the European Union, along with 16 partners across the Southern Mediterranean and the Middle East. Some of the most important agreements include a rotating co-presidency with one EU president and one president representing the Mediterranean partners, and a Secretariat based in Barcelona that is responsible for identifying and promoting projects.
It is an extension of the European Free Trade Area which was the origins of the EU we now ‘enjoy’ in these post Lisbon Treaty days. As such it enjoys special priority status under the ‘Blue Card’ system which will see 50 million migrant workers enter ‘Fortress Europe’ with full rights to housing, welfare, education, and security of employment.
Politicians can solve any problem – so long as they can make you feel queasy about the alternative. You do feel queasy about all those people drowning in the Mediterranean, don’t you?