Europe’s Mass Migration: The Leaders vs. the Public
Is Bill Gates a Nazi, racist, “Islamophobe” or fascist? As PG Wodehouse’s most famous butler would have said, “The eventuality would appear to be a remote one”. So far nobody in any position of influence has made such claims about the world’s largest philanthropist. Possibly — just possibly — something is changing in Europe.
In an interview published July 2 in the German paper Welt Am Sonntag, the co-founder of Microsoft addressed the ongoing European migration crisis. What he said was surprising:
“On the one hand you want to demonstrate generosity and take in refugees. But the more generous you are, the more word gets around about this — which in turn motivates more people to leave Africa. Germany cannot possibly take in the huge number of people who are wanting to make their way to Europe.”
These words would be uncontroversial to the average citizen of Europe. The annual survey of EU citizens recently carried out by Project 28 found a unanimity on the issue of migration almost unequalled across an entire continent. The survey found, for instance, that 76% of the public across the EU believe that the EU’s handling of the migration crisis of recent years has been “poor”. There is not one country in the EU in which the majority of the public differs from this consensus. In countries such as Italy and Greece, which have been on the frontline of the crisis of recent years, that figure rockets up. In these countries, nine out of ten citizens think that the EU has handled the migrant crisis poorly.
How could they think otherwise? The German government’s 2015 announcement that normal asylum and border procedures were no longer in operation exacerbated an already disastrous situation. The populations of Germany and Sweden increased by 2% in one year alone because of that influx of migrants. These are monumental changes to happen at such a speed to any society.