He says he is prepared to work – ‘prepared’ no less, which is good of him – as a ‘translator’; that is going to be difficult for him, since he only speaks his native language. But give him time. Give him time.
He has mastered the asylum seekers language – the ‘accommodation he has been given’ is crap; he’s having to rely on the generosity of ‘the locals’ to make ‘ends meet’.
He is seeking political asylum because he protested in his own country about – well actually, about there being too many immigrants, who didn’t speak the language, and moaned about the accommodation being crap, and having to rely on the generosity of the locals….and thinking they might get a job one day as a translator if they ever got round to learning the language of their new country!
Herr Griesbach is German, as is Frau Griesbach, and the overweight junior Fräuleins and their four assorted sprogs. So they drove to Russia and demanded political asylum. The Russians don’t appear to be too impressed.
There have been German immigrants in Russia before, quite a long history of them, dating back to the 16th century when a handful of highly skilled technicians were allowed to settle in Moscow to bring their craftsmanship into Russia. However, once they started arriving in larger numbers, without the required skills, Tsar Alexander started imposing minimum financial requirements on them.
Strangely, these new migrants showed a reluctance to learn the Russian language, and established large enclaves of German speaking peoples, who clung to their native faith, and felt no obligation to join the armed forces and help protect their ‘new country’. When Russia went to war against Germany, they were suspected of being ‘the enemy inside the border’. When Germany later invaded Russia – the migrants left their new homeland with the retreating German army, only too happy to go back ‘home’.
Germans fleeing Russia were given instant German citizenship, the right to vote, unlimited work permits, paid flights from Moscow to Frankfurt (with all of their personal belongings and household possessions), job training, and unemployment benefits for three years.
Germans fleeing to Russia don’t get quite the same treatment.
Putin’s government invested heavily in infrastructure and housing in Siberia, particularly in the city of Novosibirsk, to draw ethnic Germans living abroad. Those who returned were offered 3,000 euros ($4,106), travel compensation and free transportation of their belongings.
Russian news agency Interfax reported this week that Moscow will spend over 80 million euros ($110 million) by 2012 to entice back former citizens of German descent who have immigrated to Germany as well as to stem the further westward flight of its ethnic German minority.
Mmmm, Siberia. Not quite what Herr Griesbach had in mind. Still, better than sweeping snow in Moscow, where he is now.
“They’ve overfilled our capital,” complains unemployed 60-year-old Muscovite Boris Agarkov. “They can’t work as anything other than street cleaners. You can’t trust them with anything else. And they stop Russian people from getting jobs.”
The familiar refrain!
That’ll be why Russian child beauty pageants are so popular that the authorities didn’t dare ban them outright, as a lot of western papers reported, but put in place a series of fines for parents who enter their children into the competitions – I can’t find any evidence of anyone being fined yet.
I do hope the Daily Mail stay in touch with Herr Griesbach, I’d like to know how long he lasts before he joins the three month queue for a Russian exit visa…