A fast paced entrance of a huge number of immigrants is not something to take lightly or appeal to tolerance as the only way to cope. Yes, tolerance is good. But the issue here is why have so many people decided suddenly to come to Europe? To me, there’s something there that we don’t know about. And it is dangerous for both the immigrants and the countries that they come to.
I don’t know if people outside of Europe realize how much of a challenge it is to suddenly have hundreds of thousands of immigrants from totally different cultures arrive in very few years. It modifies a society from minute one. It’s as if you bring people to your house without being ready to provide them with space and attention. Everyone suffers.
Europe is NOT America or Canada, which are huge countries made great by immigrants. OVER HUNDREDS OF YEARS and united by a common language. Not so in Europe, where in seventy years there’s been the equivalent of double the amount of migration that North America has seen. Also our governments have more or less asked European citizens to forgo traditions that can be seen as an insult to people of other cultures. Some schools won’t have Christmas plays. Others have to modify school lunches. There’s a feeling of being cornered into accepting changes for the sake of newcomers which people don’t understand.
The timing for these changes could not be worse. In 40 years of Spanish ‘democracy’ no one moved a finger to take away Christmas, which is a traditional holiday here. No, in large schools they tell you you can’t have a Christmas play or Christmas carols or display national flags or eat ham because someone may be distressed and feel offended.
In Spain there’s no big problems with immigration. We’re Shit poor (at an European level, of course) thanks to Mrs. Merkel and friends.
Since Europe has dwindling birthrates, let’s get other cultures which breed more to come so we can get more consumers. This is a manoeuvre to enslave the population through debt (credit to buy things you can’t afford).
Here in Spain there is an incongruity between the pride in regional/local culture in private and the ‘pride’ in Spanish culture in public. Galego is by no means a dead or dying language. Language, not dialect. It is one of the four official languages of the Spanish State. There’s just this sense of inferiority if you speak it which is by no means justified. That is not casual. It was brought about by the EU. We were sold the European dream. Spain had always felt like the poor cousin from the South, so when we were admitted to the EEC and the EU it was with huge pride that we undertook the challenge of becoming more modern. That meant a double strategy: praising and pretending to uphold regional cultures, while encouraging a standardized model of Spaniard.
If it’s not orchestrated by the rich, then why now? Why to some countries and not others? Why so suddenly and in such numbers? Why make everyone uncomfortable? I accept that I cannot give a sound argument without a conspiracy theory. But too many things seem to fit. Why the ongoing war in the middle east? Where’s Israel in all this? They’re conspicuous by their deafening silence. I hope to be proven wrong. We’re walking towards the United States of Europe, silently and without being consulted. The UK is being punished, as was Greece and the whole poor south of the continent, for protesting against a covert loss of sovereignty.
Does the end -a global Europe- therefore justify the means? It is all leading towards a world government, a New World Order. I thought it was too twisted to be true. Now, I think it is a possibility.
A European Union that does not respect the cultures of its member states does not deserve their loyalty. I am aware that it was always an economic institution, but I refused to think it would do away with national or regional cultures. I’ve researched the meaning and effects of acculturation. I wonder if that is what we can expect. I wonder if we are waiting for the future or about to take a ride to the past.
The EU has effectively promoted an accelerated acculturation of its members, which is not the same as a process that takes generations. Somebody is in a hurry to unify the United States of Europe in order to make it a reality. I am not convinced, however, that this is in the best interest of the European citizens. It’s starting to feel like a very well orchestrated manipulation. When people confuse the EU with Europe it makes you wonder. The EU is a post WWII entity. Europe is a millennial continent. The thing is a chain is as strong as its weakest member and the EU has weakened its weakest members.
The idea may have been good originally, but now it’s not so clear that its beneficial for even a majority of citizens. Standing up for your local/regional culture is complicated to say the least when the interest of the powerful is against it. In order to create a United States of Europe, the loyalty of the citizens must be shifted towards a continental mindset. People should voluntarily forget their own little cultures and instead feel drawn to a bigger, more multicultural concept of loyalty. Propaganda it would seem, has done its work right. It pushes for any dissident thoughts to be mocked into oblivion and accuses those who support small cultures and local customs of backward ideas, and does so in a patronizing way: aww, poor you! Don’t you see that poppa EU just wants what’s best for you? Now bend over and take another kick for the greater good of the continent. You don’t really need your icky, backwards language and your silly customs. Blend in with your neighbours!
What happens when you blend in too many spices into a dish? If the blend is hasty, you get a tasteless concoction. That’s what is happening here. Let’s hide the hot mess we’re making by adding ‘spices’ from other countries to make it more palatable.
If you are directly or indirectly told that your ‘culture’ is backwards, you will not try to promote it. The brunt of change is not only about who pays more but also about who benefits more. Have southern European countries, who have paid less, benefitted more? No. So if other countries have paid more, where has the money gone?
The EU was the ‘logical’ next step after nation States, which were enforced to make stronger units. The bigger, the better. The problem is after a certain point it becomes unmanageable. The EU is very complex to govern and it doesn’t respect individual nation States and their sovereignty. It gives general rules that cannot be applied with similar results in different countries. This causes a basic inequality of opportunities because if you have, say, 100 euros you cannot handle 20% taxes the same as if you have 2000.
In the south we feel shortchanged. We’ve been asked to step it up and burdened with austerity measures which have done little to improve our circumstances. All in the name of the greater good.
It gets to be too much to handle. Is it unrealistic to expect a European government to be fair to its nations? There’s a certain convenience in governing from an office thousands of miles away from the actual people you’ll be affecting with your legislation. It promotes unrealistic and purely economicist ideas. It’s causing more harm than good to its state members.
I am against anything that is so big that it’s unmanageable. The EU is unmanageable.
No, the EU is not responsible for all that ails European countries. Some issues go way back. But it certainly hasn’t done much to redistribute wealth within Europe, which is why there’s the division in opinions. You feel your country’s paid more than its due. I feel my country has been duped into an agreement that has forced it to give in ways that are not financial because we did not have that level of economic capacity. The EU, which should serve to integrate and promote fairness and growth has failed to do so. Everyone feels shortchanged.
The EU is all about the ideal of a United States of Europe. Whatever it takes to reach that goal, whatever has to be sacrificed, it’s all fine.
Any institution that pays no heed to its weakest is doomed to fail, sooner or later.
What I want is for the EU to serve its purpose, which in my mind is to make the whole continent prosper. People in the stronger economies have been duped as much as we have. They’ve been told that they’re paying much more than their fair share. Well then, why is it us in the poorer countries don’t have better and stronger economies? Where has all their hard earned money gone?
The EU needs to restructure itself to attend more than a financial agenda. It should adjust to a fairer distribution of wealth that doesn’t leave richer members feeling shortchanged and poorer members wondering why we’re being crucified.
The EU is creating resentment on all sides. Some comment on Spain leaving the EU (which won’t happen any time soon) not hurting the EU that much, being a minor setback (it’ll sting for a moment). How dare Spain want to leave when poor Germany and others have given so much? Well, it’s not working. You’ve given. We’ve not received. We’ve suffered every important restructuring in the book: industrial, farming… We’re not Better for it.
The origin of the conflict is common: the banks. They were saved as were the banks across Europe. The Greek government was rendered useless when they were forced to pay what they ‘owed’. If the whole point of the EU is finance, they could at least do it right and not bail out the banks. All the governments did was save the banks because, ultimately it is they who control the governments. If the EU is only a financial entity, it should not meddle in national affairs or issue blanket laws that make national laws useless. If it is more than a financial entity, it should show its true colors once and for all. I have no idea how ‘poor’ regions in Germany are, but I doubts they are much worse than here. In Andalucía, where all the foreigners come on holiday, there’s almost 30% unemployment. In Navarra, one of the best regions, I think it’s around 14%. Yes, the national governments misspent the money the EU gave them because they spent it as the EU told them: to repay the loans and because ‘Banks could not be allowed to collapse’ as they would bring about the collapse of the economy. The money was not given to bail out the PEOPLE of these countries, it did not go towards building stronger economies, but towards saving the BANKS. All this was done by order of the EU and IMF. The headlines were full of it for weeks. It is the EU’s interference in national affairs that causes governments to be less efficient. However, I am by no means sparing national governments their share of responsibility.
Another factor is the way the media portrays the situation. It is tailored to each country, in some to make them feel outraged at how much they’ve given the poorer countries; in others to make them feel shortchanged because they’d been promised such and such and it’s not happening because the rich countries have refused to back the finances. It’s what happens with oversized institutions: they become elephants in China shops.
What more consequences do poorer countries in the EU have to face? 21% unemployment. 24% child poverty. People working for 300 euros a month. Thousands thrown out of their homes for lack of payment. EU laws in this case haven’t been enforced.
What more is there to give? Our countries are being slowly turned into the sweatshops of Europe, a source of cheap labour, both qualified and unqualified. There’s been more than 400.000 young Spaniards in the last five years who’ve left in search of a job. Most are very well qualified. This is talent that has been drained from the country. It affects me directly. My oldest son will most likely be forced to leave. He’s a physicist. So what more price do we have to pay?