Wednesday, September 02, 2015

"Give All Refugees A Free Ticket To Brussels" -- Automatic Earth

http://www.theautomaticearth.com/2015/09/give-all-refugees-a-free-ticket-to-brussels/

from Automatic Earth

A few days ago, I joked to Nicole that Paddypower should by now have a bet open on how much longer the Schengen open border treaty will be valid in Europe. Didn’t check if they actually had one, mind you. 
But it can’t be long anymore, so it wouldn’t be a big money maker even if it existed. I give it a few days at most. Italy just announced it wants guards at Brennero, one of its main border posts with Austria. One down, a few hundred to go, and they may go at a rapid clip. 
Europe’s countries are not each other’s enemies yet, but they will shut borders. Germany pulled a fast one yesterday by telling Hungary to stop the trains from rolling west, but now Budapest has a big problem. They should have just allowed the refugees to board the trains and leave. Put them on a train, give them food and drink and make them first Austria’s and then Germany’s problem. 
And Germany’s a fine place for the refugees to go, since Berlin is sort of the de facto capital of the EU, at least when that seems a profitable position to be in, but it’s not the perfect place to go, because Merkel and her ilk will denounce their leadership claims whenever that looks more beneficial in the polls.
Merkel and Schäuble can screw over Greece three ways to Sunday, but they’re like this Bill Pesek headline on Bloomberg two weeks ago about the Chinese leadership that said something to the effect that they like the power but not the responsibility. That’s at least as true for Europe as it is for Beijing. 
And that makes it hard to call any supposed leaders on any of their responsibilities. It’s also why thousands of refugees have drowned and not one of the ‘leaders’ have lifted a finger. They’re there for the power, not the other stuff. 
And that, as I’ve said a hundred times before, is embedded in the EU model, in its design, its regulations, its laws, the whole shebang. When I read that Yanis Varoufakis wants a pan-European anti-austerity movement, I’m thinking he doesn’t understand how it’s set up. The whole bureaucracy was made to resist change, democracy, and any challenges to its ‘belief’ system.
It’s no use saying the EU should do something or another in the refugee crisis, because it won’t. And what it may do will always be way too late and way too little. It’s how it was structured. The EU is geared towards accumulating more power, not solving its own problems. 
But at the same time, Brussels is still the only capital the EU has. And that’s why all refugees, wherever they are at the moment, Hungary, Greece, Italy, Serbia, Macedonia, should be allowed to board trains, with enough humane facilities and provisions, bound for Brussels. 
They should all be directed towards the European Parliament and/or other posh buildings – they recently opened a €1.2 billion one, that should facilitate a few refugees -, and stay there until the EU is forced to solve the issue. 
And every single cameraman on the planet should be there to register what happens. How long they will be allowed to go without food, water and shelter. How long they will go without proper medical treatment. 
Let’s see how Brussels deals with 50,000 -100,000 people in its streets and parks, with more coming every day, while the whole world is watching live on a hundred news channels.
And I know Strasbourg will want to dispute the claim that Brussels is the capital, and you know what?, I’m willing to send half of the refugees there too. Just so the French don’t feel left out or insultée or have their pride hurt. 
And something tells me that the citizens of Belgium and France, like their Greek peers, will have the decency to feed and shelter the Syrian and Libyan mothers and children on their doorsteps while the ivory towers diddle. 
It looks to me to be the only way to expose the EU for what it is, and then put an end to the macabre monstrosity it has become. 
We would need to convince the refugees that by doing things this way, they would open the way for those who come after them, of which there will undoubtedly be many. 
The Italian, Hungarian, Greek etc. governments should issue rail tickets from their countries to Brussels and tell the refugees that that’s where the European capital is, and to apply there for visas, asylum, and everything else.
Brussels lives by the adage of divide and rule. And that serves only the bureaucrats that inhabit the institution. Not the refugees, and not the people of Europe.

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