by S.G. Kazolias: President Emmanuel Macron campaigned to put an end to what he called “Social Dumping” —- the practice of temporarily hiring workers from poorer EU countries at the minimum wage and paying their much lower social security in their home country. On March 1, EU delegates in Brussels agreed to revise the 1996 accord allowing this. But getting all EU countries to agree may be harder.
When the then 12 EU members approved the 1996 ‘Posted Workers’ directive, labor costs between the different countries was one to three. As the EU enlarged to 28 with the former Soviet Block countries, that differential became one to ten and employers took advantage of it. Skilled labor was brought in from countries like Bulgaria, Romania and Poland at a fraction of the cost.
France’s Minister for Family and Women’s Affairs this week lambasted fashion houses for proposing Islamic clothing for women. Laurence Rossignol said it is “irresponsible” for major brands like Marks & Spencer’s to promote the “confining of women’s bodies.” At question is everything from the ‘burkini’ bathing suit to high-end head scarves.
I angered one of the softest and nicest guys I know so much that, if he were a boxer, he would have punched me out with the simple American-style question of “when did you arrive in Europe?” It was another rude lesson in Europe is not the United States.
“Right and left, who strew war against political Islam internationally, are harvesting the war of Islam nationally,” tweeted the anarcho-French philosopher Michel Onfry the night of the Friday the 13th massacre. A tweet which earned him the scorn of the establishment. Basically, you reap what you sow.
An illegal migrant is not a refugee and a refugee is not an asylum seeker. The press is reinforcing the confusion by parroting political leaders who have brushed the true meaning of asylum under the rug.
The asylum seeker, traditionally, is someone who tried to change things in his country, usually for the better, and faced persecution or worse for his activities. He fled his country and sought protection. At times, countries which offered asylum to the persecuted saw them as a joker to use if the country of origin fell into crisis or changed regimes such as South Africans fighting apartheid in the 1980s. More often than not, the exile would sit out his life in the host nation.
How will Europe deal with hundreds of thousands of unskilled, uneducated and angry young men, mostly Muslim, flooding over the borders when the migrants realize there is no place for them here and they are unwanted? Many of these young people are totally illiterate, especially Afghans and Somalis. Some are just teenagers who ‘ran away to join the circus.’ They are irritated and have experienced war and violence. They come from closed and repressive, often feudal cultures. They are entering the tolerant and open Judeo-Christian democracies of Europe so foreign to anything they have known.