Saturday, September 08, 2018

Immigration

Immigration has become one of the most contentious issues for many  countries today.

In Europe, the issue arises partly through the violence and wars in the Middle East  probably compounded by people from Africa seeking work or simply better lives. 

The immigration issue has also increased in South America of late, with many seeking to flee the financial disasters of Venezuela  despite their  president being hugely praised  not that long ago, by the UK's Labour Party leader. 

The failures of Nicolas Maduro, the President of Venezuela  are now illustrated by that country's currency note:

Image result for venezuela currency pictures

 However as an aside, my recollection is that Zimbabwe holds the post war record for a country's inflation rate, since largely resolved by moving to the US $ as their basic currency:



As significantly, the increase in numbers seeking to flee Mexico for a new life in the USA, has led to President Trump's campaign to build a fence along the whole frontier between those two nations. I am sure he would be wrong to do so.

The immigration  issue comes to the fore this week end, at least in Europe, with a general election in Sweden,  the country which per head of population. has welcomed more immigrants than most if not all other European countries. 

From newspaper reports, the Swedes did not appear to have been troubled over much in previous years, by  welcoming a large number of immigrants from the countries of the former Yugoslavia, more recently from Poland and other Eastern European countries. I surmise that the majority of those immigrants shared a similar religious  view to most Swedes. 

Although religion in C21 is far less significant in many Europeans' lives than even in C20, the historic European position has largely been one of Christianity whereas many immigrants from the Middle East adhere not only to a different religion but also take its practice far more seriously than many in the European countries they seek to access. That point perhaps also raises the (academic) question of why they do not seek to travel to countries with a similar historic religious background to their own, given the already large non-religious differences between the immigrants' existing ways of life and those of the countries they seek to enter for new lives?

However there now appears to be growing unrest in Sweden arising from the large number of  newer immigrants from the Middle East, so much so that there is even a risk that Sweden's far right political party will win twenty percent of more of the nation's vote in tomorrow general election there, perhaps receiving more votes than any other political party, which in my view would be sad. 

Violence in Sweden is being reported which runs counter to the country's great reputation as being one of the happiest and fairest places on the planet to live. For example in Malmo, violent deaths are reported as being far higher per head than in London, despite UK newspapers'  huge criticisms of the failures by the London Mayor  to tackle that dreadful issue here.

Possibly The Times newspaper is mis-reporting but today it states:

"It's not just Malmo that's on edge. Across Swedish cities such as Gothenburg and Stokholm, cars have been set ablaze and the foot soldiers in various gang wars think nothing of lobbing hand grenades. They're cheap sometimes free if you are buying  Kalashnikov."

The  Times hopefully is exaggerating the difficulties in order to sell more copies but the outcome of the Swedish general election this week-end should  set the matter in perspective.

My own opinion is that Germany, by  failing in 2015, to consult its EU partners with a view to reaching agreement, particularly about refugees and sub-Saharan immigration, before opening the flood gates to the whole of Europe, precipitated the crisis now facing countries like Italy and Greece in particular and the EU more generally. 




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