There’s a huge irony in the nature of the mass migration that’s now shaking the European Union. It’s the real reason why the Brussels Commissioners and Foreign Ministers alike have not yet been able to devise a practical admissions policy for asylum seekers — mostly families — from Syria. It is because the majority of would-be migrants — from many other countries besides Syria — consist of those who are pejoratively called ‘economic migrants’. They would have to be sent back — and in their hundreds of thousands — if accurate assessment could be made in reception centres.
But the latter are the energetic young men that the politicians — particularly Germany — really want to add to their workforce. Rather cleverly, however, politicians seldom referred to these during most of 2015 and confined themselves to talking of the terrible plight of refugee families, usually with young children — and thus how much we should welcome the immigrants.
It is the genuine refugees who bring out the full swell of sympathy from many ordinary people in the European countries. With the media also concentrating on these, then it’s no wonder that there was no great resistance in the early months to the rapidly increasing numbers of immigrants. It took a while for the penny to drop among the non-middle-class parts of the population — those in poorly paid jobs.
European politicians — particularly those in Germany — want the young men in the same way that both the Labour and the Conservative administrations in England encouraged two to three million of young men from Bangladesh, Africa and India in the last 15 years. They would add immediately to the workforce and start paying taxes to help ease the ever-growing burden of the welfare state. Also — and this is only just being realized, the children of poorly-paid immigrant parents — are doing better at school than native children of the same socio-economic level.
Moreover, it is a fact of life that immigrants turn out to be more enterprising than the indigenous population. This oughtn’t to be surprising but it’s understandable when it’s realized that many of the economic migrants came from what were middle-class families in their home country. Otherwise, they could not have afforded to pay the traffickers relatively large sums of money.
A recent survey of the Forbes 500 Rich List in America revealed the astonishing fact that immigrants — or their children — less than 2% of the population — produce 41% of the names on the list. Other things being equal, energetic young people can do wonders for a country’s economy ! Nevertheless there’s a lot of fear about their jobs among the lowest paid native workers. The politicians should have done a lot more to reassure them. As it is, the original complacency has now led to European-wide controversy, and it’s also broadening out to all sorts of different quarrels between countries of very different cultures — particularly from the Vinograd-4 — Poland and three other countries that were formerly communist countries for a couple of generations.