Immigrants, the easy target…

lindholm-denmark-0Just a few weeks before Christmas, we read the following at The New York Times: “Denmark plans to house the country’s most unwelcome foreigners in a most unwelcoming place: a tiny, hard-to-reach island that now holds the laboratories, stables and crematory of a center for researching contagious animal diseases. As if to make the message clearer, one of the two ferries that serve the island is called the Virus. “They are unwanted in Denmark, and they will feel that,” the immigration minister, Inger Stojberg.[1]

For those having a closer look at Mrs. Stojberg’s political career and more specifically, the time she has served as Minister of Immigration, Integration and Housing, this is not something new. However, on December 20 we heard that the government moved a step further and approved the Minister’s plan as part of their recently approved Budget 2019.

How ironic does this sound? Denmark, a country that has been compared to socialist ones because of its strong welfare system and strong unions, has now a government that decides to adopt one more hideous measure to prevent immigrants from reaching the country. Of course, we are sure this has some kind of backing support from parts of the society, even though we can’t say if it’s strong or not. Needless to say, this has already raised concerns from the UN Human Rights Council. Going a bit further, a spokesperson (i.e. Martin Henriksen) of the government zealously added that they plan to “minimize the number of ferry departures as much as at all possible”.

A few years ago, Golden Dawn became a buzzword in Greece’s political life as it succeeded to be one of the parliamentary parties in the General Election 2012. For the first time in history, a neonazi party takes seats in the Greek Parliament. Apart from the power that the far-right gained after the election, it was someone else who used far-right speech in order to win the election; the next Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras. A strong conservative, a macho man, a person that poisoned the political life of his country many times with references to immigrants, calling them “smuggler immigrants”, deliberately avoiding saying anything about those people that were seeking asylum. In one of his pre-election speeches, he said “we will reoccupy our cities!” A catchy phrase to point out who is the problem for all your problems, don’t you think? Well, that could have been a honest statement from a far-right plonker, however Samaras, as a Prime Minister then, in his visit to Paris for the celebration of 125 years of Herald Tribune whispered that refugees are like hostages in Greece, as they want to move to wealthier countries (and Greece could not forward them, because of the agreement with EU). But, the poison had already been cleverly injected to the society previously…

And, let’s finish with Ireland. Direct provision still exists in EU’s and IMF’s good child… It seems that the IT and Pharmaceutical multinationals that the recent years’ governments have attracted with their strategic plans is only the bright side of the moon, huh? The rental market has skyrocket, the homelessness is not a strange word in dictionaries, but a cruel reality in the streets of Dublin; however, a few days ago some people wearing yellow vests expressed some not very anti-government views, but anti-immigration nonsense. Also direct provision places were set on fire. Ireland First!

What concerns me most is not what is mentioned above. Ok, far-right politicians have always been around and misanthropists wearing the masks of ‘angry’ citizens will never disappear from our lives. It is the fact that more and more you can now hear, even from governments, not only random fools, that we must make immigrants’ lives difficult. To make it clear to them that they are not welcome here. The Enlightenment spirit is not something that Europe can be proud of anymore. It seems though that this is not the end of the story and the hatred will escalate in the next coming years. Refugees have always been the easy target. We must defend and support them by all means, but let’s keep a closer eye to where all this is going. A century since Europe was reshaped by nationalisms, we are again talking about superior nations and we see enemies everywhere. The fight for more democracy and human rights will be more intense in the years to come…




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