Archive for ‘Immigration’

April 26, 2011

Germany, new mecca for cash-strapped eastern Europeans

[Daciana Antonescu, EU News Contributor]

Spiegel Online International: It seems that, in times of the global financial crisis, ‘wealthy Germany‘ has become not only the final destination for many disadvantaged fortune-seekers from the less affluent east and south, but also a favoured destination for desperate eastern Europeans whose counties are practically bankrupt states.

Because of that, the trade for human trafficking is Germany is going through the roof as traders flood the country with cheap work forces from Bulgaria, Romania and other ‘new member states’ made up of those who are so desperate to get any kind of work. For them, the prospect of as little as 3 EUR per hour (tax and social insurance free) and a place to sleep in a crowded warehouse, or cellar, is a vision from heaven itself.

The Outskirts of the EU

Since 2007 when Bulgaria was accepted in the European Union, the number of Bulgarians residing  in Germany is estimated to be 36,000, although no one really knows the true figure. Thousands and thousands are there, unknown and unaccounted for, living on less than EUR15 a day and having their children around as still cheaper workers.

The flow of labour from the eastern Europe is intense because, being citizens of the European Union, Bulgarians and other eastern European citizens, whose countries are in the EU, can enter any EU state without a visa.  Many of the workers have no choice.  “If the children weren’t in Germany we would starve,” says one old woman from Bulgarian countryside as her son leaves for Germany. The majority of them can afford to send home no more than around EUR 200 a month, however, in Bulgaria it is the size of the average salary and their parents need it to pay their debts and for food.

Sinan Kemal’s – a Bulgarian slave labourer in Germany

Sinan Kemal, 27, has worked in Germany for four years. His ‘luck story’ is quite different from what many prospective immigrants would like to think. For example, he had to pay  EUR150 a month for a bed which comprised a dirty mattress at an acquaintance’s house. At some time, he had worked at a warehouse under the surveillance of Turkish managers and remembers that each time he had slowed down in his task of packing boxes, he had got hit in the face by one of the managers. He reflects:  “You’re an EU citizen, but you just happen to be born in the wrong country. But EUR3 an hour is good, compared with going hungry in Bulgaria.”

April 22, 2011

Libyan black residents being slaughtered by rebels

[Alice Bolitho, Middle East News Contributor]

According to AlterNet’s Race-Talk Contributor, Philip Martin, it’s not a good time to be black in Libya as Libyan blacks are being targeted by the rebels in reprisal killing sprees.

The reason for that is because, at the start of the hostilities, the besieged incumbent Libyan dictator, Col. Gaddafi, had engaged more than three-thousand black mercenaries from neighbouring Niger, Chad, Mali and in other parts of the Sub-Saharan area to assist his internal security forces to contain the rebellion.  The so-called ‘Pan African Army’, identified by the yellow helmets, were exclusively dark-skinned and according to various reports had been particularly brutal towards Libyans in Benghazi, allegedly firing into crowds of demonstrators and clubbing, sometimes to death, unarmed civilians.

But, not all Libyan blacks are mercenaries as the country’s south is home to a large number of its black citizens. However, the rebels in their anger against the mercenaries are targeting all blacks in Libya in vicious reprisal attacks.  As a result, the indiscriminate killing of blacks in Libya is at an all-time high as black citizens and mercenaries are being equally subjected to hash treatment by the rebels with some being hanged from Poles in Benghazi,  beaten to death, or shot.   Now, there is widespread fear in the community of the many thousand black Libyans who are totally unconnected with the rogue Colonel’s drive to remain at the helm.

So, it seems that when Col. Gaddafi is finally removed, which by all accounts, will be soon, he will merely be replaced by another regime, equally as bloodthirsty and ruthless in respect to what it perceives to be in the best interest of is members and the dispensation of justice.

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March 31, 2011

Libyan Regime on the run – to Britain

[Tom Atkins, Middle East & Africa News Contributor]

Mail Online: Rebels are rejoicing as their efforts appear to be forcing the Gaddafi‘s inner circle to leave in droves into the arms of the waiting British security services.

British assets in the region have more, or less confirmed that following the well-publicized defecting of Libya‘s Minister Musa Kusa, at least two of the Colonel‘s senior ministers are now in Tunis discussing a ‘bailout’ package with British and French intelligence officers.

It also seems that the Colonel’s head of intelligence and minister for Europe has already packed bags and is on his way out of the troubled country.  Others defecting are:  up to seven other ministers, diplomats and officials who are now in Tunisia; Ali al-Treiki, Gaddafi’s minister for Africa and Tarek Khalid Ibrahim, the deputy head of mission in London.

March 16, 2011

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March 8, 2011

Russia is St. Lucia’s newest best friend

So it seems, as from yesterday, Russia became the Caribbean island of St. Lucia‘s newest best friend. Why, you might be asking? Well, this seems to be a case of love of the purest sort as the countries have signed a ‘Protocol of Intention‘ whereby Russia has agreed to ‘open its doors’ to St. Lucians and the delighted islanders can now expect science and technology scholarships at Russian universities and other such gifts.

As reported by Caribbean 360, the island’s Minister of External Affairs, International Trade and Investment, Rufus Bousquet said: “This protocol of intention allows us to move in the multilateral arena and to hold discussions in terms of improving our bilateral relations…of course it also includes a clause which allows us to put high level experts to hold discussions on matters of mutual interest…..We understand that Russia has a very strong academic record in the areas of engineering and I am sure that there will be many St Lucians who would like to take advantage of that expertise”.

Caribbean 360 reports that Russia’s Ambassador designate to St Lucia, Victor Zotin, had responded: “I hope very much that the other steps will follow this document and we shall develop a relationship between our two states.  We are interested in developing all round relations with your country: education, investments and tourism which is very important for your country. I hope very much that more and more Russians will come to your beautiful island of St Lucia”. He also said that Russia will co-operate in initiatives to increase tourist visitors from Russia to the island.

Russia and St. Lucia has entered into diplomatic relations in 1979 after the island declared its independence from Britain. Saint Lucia is an independent island on the eastern side of the Caribbean Sea boundering the Atlantic Ocean.[3] It is near the other Caribbean islands of St. Vincent, Barbados, Martinique and Dominica.  It is around 238 square miles wide and has a population of around 174,000.  It is a former British colony. It’s main industry is tourism and over 1 million tourists visit it each year, most of them American.

[Caribbean Affairs Contributor]

March 1, 2011

Commissioner power in the EU – USSR all over again?

New EU rules under the Lisbon Treaty which come into effect from today give the EU Commission’s unelected Commissioners unpredecented ‘implementing powers’. The EU Commission can now make binding laws and regulations under its ‘comitology’ procedures whereby the detailed implementation of new EU laws is effected without further consultation of the EU Parliament.

More than 100 EU’s Commission’s Committees meet each week to vote and decide on EU law implementation and under the new rules they now have  a virtual carte blanche to decide on the flavour of EU laws that affect all member states. Although by agreeing to the Lisbon Treaty, member states gave  control of  decisions on EU laws over to the Commission, it is feared that the new system will be a disaster for democracy in the EU and member states are now worried.  According to EU Observer, Daniel Gueguen, a leading public affairs consultant, said: “The reason why the new system will be worse is its increasing complexity. The commission gets more power to the detriment of member states and lobbyists”.

Previously, a simple majority of member state experts could stop a Commission proposal on a law implementation matter. It could also choose to move sensitive decisions to the level of  Council of  Ministers.  However, now  the ‘qualified majority’ will be practically impossible to achieve and the ability to move sensitive decisions up to the Council of Ministers level has been made much more difficult.

Member states, like Ireland, Greece, UK and the post-Soviet states of Eastern & Central Europe have recently expressed concern over the creeping power of the Commissioners and have been trying to get back their previous powers all to no avail. An anonymous source of EU Observer, identified as an EU Official said: “Member states woke up way too late. This is what happens when you negotiate a new treaty at 3am.” An EU Official said: “The commission is in control of the agenda and can push its own interests. It can now adopt its own proposals unless there is a qualified majority of member state experts against it.”

As a flavour of what more is to come for EU states under the control of the Commission, here is Nigel Farage, UKIP Leader’s account of ‘Who’s Who in the EU Commission’ – their CVs are interesting to say the least. [EU Affairs Contributor]

February 22, 2011

Mass immigration fear by European Union state after revolts in middle east and Africa

This week, European Union ministers met to discuss the impact of the dramatically changing political scenario in the middle east and Africa following the revolts in the region leading to the recent toppling of Libya’s leader, Colonel Gadafi.

Italy and Malta are concerned about an ‘unmanageable flood of migrants’ adding to the swelling numbers of persons already displaced and seeking refuge due to the unfolding changes in the political landscape of the affected countries.

Italy’s Foreign Minister said: “Those who spoke of hundreds of thousands” of people crossing into Europe “are not exaggerating…. we have already seen what happened in Tunisia.”  In recent days over 3,000 Tunisians arrived on the Italian island of Lampedusa which caused the Italians to declare a humanitarian emergency.

Whether the EU’s fears will materialise is hard to see now, but for sure there are troubling times ahead as far as the immigration issues are concerned for those countries neighbouring the troubled zones.

[Primary News Source: New York Times]