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Media roundup: Is Europe coming apart?

The Local · 13 May 2011, 13:02

Published: 13 May 2011 13:02 GMT+02:00

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First came the howls of protests from French politicians as Italy gave Tunisian refugees residence permits, allowing them to travel freely throughout the continent’s open borders zone.

Then came the threats of stronger national border controls – something that many argue flies in the face of the Schengen zone’s principal of free movement. Now Denmark, reacting to pressure from nationalists, has become the first country to introduce more stringent controls on its land borders, sparking anger across the European Union.

German commentators in The Local’s media roundup admitted there are no easy solutions to the continent’s problems, which also include trouble with the euro currency and an ongoing sovereign debt crisis. But they too reacted with outrage at the Danish move and expressed alarm at the future of a united Europe.

Berlin’s centrist daily Der Tagesspiegel wrote that something was “rotten in Europe” and argued that political survival had become more important to politicians than promoting European ideals of openness. The union could eventually be “destroyed” by this, it argued.

“Everywhere, right-wing populists peddle simple recipes. They are always the same. They suggest that only the borders be closed and the euro be abandoned in order to keep out refugees and resolve the crisis of the common currency.

“Europe – for some it is a promise, a dream. For others, and their number is growing alarmingly these days, it is a shock structure, a forced community, a source of unreasonable demands.”

The centre-left Süddeutsche Zeitung argued that the EU has moved so rapidly towards integration that pro-Europe and anti-Europe factions have been put on an epic collision course, magnified by the EU’s current crises.

“The EU-optimists and Euro-sceptics are meeting now. Some complain that Europe is not speaking with one voice and often persists in national small-state thinking. To them, the EU is too little Europe. For the others, the EU is too hazardous for sovereignty, too bureaucratic, too egalitarian.”

The left-wing Frankfurter Rundschau wrote that European governments were recklessly sacrificing ideals for the sake of domestic politics.

“Two things are symbolic of Europe and facilitate the everyday life of citizens immensely: the euro and the right to travel freely. The euro is threatening to implode as the single currency. The Schengen Agreement still has a long way to go. Nevertheless, it is infuriating how recklessly European governments play with these achievements for domestic policy. Worse, the community lets its agenda on sensitive questions be dictated by right-wing populists.”

Story continues below…

Regional newspapers weighed in too. Munich's Münchner Merkur wrote that the Danish move was a “violation of the spirit of the Schengen Agreement.” It added: “The governments of Europe must not wobble and must defend the freedom of movement for citizens.”

And the Sächsische Zeitung in Dresden argued that nationalism was trumping the ideal of community and added that “for the future of the EU, this promises nothing good.”

The Local/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:23 May 13, 2011 by FredFinger
The recent issues with border controls having very little to do with nationalism as repeatedly characterized in this article but rather everything to do with common sense which is why the EU - huggers are so worried. Self interest shows signs of awakening the german voter who is less and less inlined to let collective war guilt impose its counter intuitive mandates on german economic and social security.
14:26 May 13, 2011 by DOZ
Pre-1932 is starting all over. Beware of North Americian influence in Europe. North America will destroy all that gets in it's way of World Domination. Europe is the only road block to North Americian control of Asia, Middle East and North Africa.
14:46 May 13, 2011 by Loth
If all the people of the EU get out of a Nationalized Union is a big intrusive government that is unresponsive to the peoples wants, your better off without it. I guess I am thinking of Ancient Rome with its excesses. Maybe the EU is better off with a trade Union rather then a political one. Each country looking after its own benefits with its own currency. Trade only when it benefits rather then making one country pay for the poor management of another one. A military union may just bankrupt the whole EU like it did ancient Rome. Look at the deficits the US has from war all over the world. Maybe a military fragmented that would come together when needed would be better. America needs to look at that problem too.
14:51 May 13, 2011 by pseu

I really liked this statement made in the Berlins centrist (does that imply an independant or center view?)

"political survival had become more important to politicians than promoting European ideals of openness."

I guess the vote of the people is getting in the way of the NWO.
15:06 May 13, 2011 by maxbrando
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
17:50 May 13, 2011 by Katzerina
I love how "populists" are continually described as right wing, when they're usually virulently anti-capitalist, and aside from their "nationalist" stance are run of the mill economic socialists.

To argue that the Danes are "violating the spirit" of the law... means absolutely nothing.
17:59 May 13, 2011 by anonimity
Europe's annual birth deficit is over 2 million... Germany's birth rate - the number of births per 1,000 inhabitants - is now 7.88. That's down 16% in the last ten years and the lowest in the country's history... Europe needs more people... but of course xenophobia can be exploited in many different ways...
18:20 May 13, 2011 by Englishted
@by anonimity,

Why does Europe need people?

Do you believe that the people who have and want to come are looking to pay super high taxes to support the pensioners.

Where are the job for these new arrivals?

I don't believe the unemployment figures just look for a full time unskilled job in the paper or anywhere.The most people arriving are unskilled.

Mass arrivals also produce unexpected problems see (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/index.html) about tower hamlets in the U.K.
18:22 May 13, 2011 by pseu
@anonimity - Same tired argument everyone is sick of. Please tell me what an acceptable level of growth for the population would be and whether or not legal immigration meets or passes this number and how it was decided upon.

It is understood a culture requires a sustainable birthrate, or it is deemed in decline and can cease to exist.

Is the problem you are addressing that the German culture will cease to exist, or that the German economy is going to have problems?

If your argument is for the economy please supply some numbers of how many "unskilled" immigrants it will take to maintain the current economy of the EU while providing jobs for those unemployed. Please also provide the number of legal immigrants that are granted work permits every year for each of the last five years so we have a yard stick.

If your argument is that the German culture is in decline, bringing in outsiders will only exacerbate the problem. Then again, nobody really cares about a Western culture since we are all multiculturalists now adays anyway. These people risking their lives to come are from cultures that are just as good if not better than our own and we should treat them as such and try to incorporate their beliefs into our lives the best we can.

Please also consider that bringing in higher numbers of unskilled workers exacerbates any problem of having limited numbers of skilled workers/professions. For example more medical doctors will be needed.
18:26 May 13, 2011 by EastPrussia
Katerzina and Fred are absolutely right - collective war guilt persuades the German voter to vote counter-intuitively and against all reason. Also, the Danes aren't doing anything beyond their reasonable juridiction - "spirit" of a law deinitely means nothing. It's a de facto understanding at most - but countries have the right to make their own decisions. Germany is getting closer to satisfying everyone else except Germans with this "EU - spirit" type of attitude. Look out for your own interests Germany.
18:32 May 13, 2011 by Englishted

"Look out for your own interests Germany"

Don't worry they will but so it looks like they are not. Sly .

Otherwise I agree .
18:33 May 13, 2011 by Katzerina
Food for thought.... There are 3 billion people who are considered "desperately poor," even if the west took in a few million more every year... no change in the circumstances of these poor. Instead the West entices professionals away from these countries, even though they are the very people who could actually make a difference in an already impoverished nation.
18:39 May 13, 2011 by pseu
Even if you take in a few million there will just be another few million that replace them. They are not the ones with the birth rate crisis.

Why do you not move to one of those countries to help rather than make everyone else have to help? If enough people like you really cared I am sure you could "fix" an African country. Maybe you and some of your buddies can go try to get South Africa up to Western standards. That is probably one of the easier places to start.

Their culture is very understanding and reasonable. You won't have to worry about swaying public opinion and your life being at stake.

Food for thought - Adopting a black baby is not going to save the world.
20:14 May 13, 2011 by asteriks
Fascists hide themselves behind nationalism, but making differences (about work, studying, etc) between people on the basis of nationality is fascism, on the basis of color of skin or religion is racism. EU is created with fascist local governments who accepted EU idea just because they are serving interest of corporations which finance all political parties. But now, fascists are against EU. It is one more time proof how much fascism is damage for society, for ordinary people, businessmen must alone decide who will be worker (black or white man) in some company and not politicians. If politicians decide who should work in my company, my company will bankrupt. Politicians care only about elections and their privileges, they are afraid from unemployment because they don't know how to lead economy, they know only to speak against immigrants. If people protest, they will use police to destroy fight of people for better life. But again, corporations need in the end dictatorship of capital, there is no successful fascist without big capital behind him, in the end, companies will find workers even if they must employ local white man instead of black man, dictatorship will limit fight for workers rights and big capitalists will be happy. For the end, I can say that nationalism was useful in 19 century, feuds are united in cities and states, but now, in the time of globalization, nationalism became counter productive, it produce hate instead of uniting and organizing for better future. uniting and organizing should not be limited with nationality and color of skin. only together, organized, people can make progress. fascists are stopping progress.
20:14 May 13, 2011 by 9900lawre
All the sceptics can have their say.

EVERY country regardless of it's unity in economics and other has the right to DEFEND IT'S BORDERS against threats both FOREIGN & DOMESTIC.

And there is nothing that anyone can do about it unless they plan to invade and conquer!

Leave Denmark alone and worry about our own doorsteps! It takes a short moment of time out of our lives just to show a passport or an ID, state your intent and then carry on as normal. Nothing to hide or blag? Nothing to loose!
20:28 May 13, 2011 by _scythe_

I think there are enough people that try to help on site, being medical personnel, UN peace-keeping troops, various christian sects (with strange agendas). Unfortunately they are a prime target for all local nutjobs. And when there's yet another news of beheaded nurse or blown-up camp, posters turn the record and claim that the victims deserve their faith since they shouldn't be there in the first place. Truly sad.

I remember back in the day in the early 90's when I was a pupil, I had an American teacher, next year a British female teacher. And the town, where I lived, was in the deep country-side. I do feel respect and gratitude for such people, since I owe them much for my education.
21:40 May 13, 2011 by narfmaster

What you say is not correct. The borders are intimately tied with economics. To have one big market requires the free movement of capital, goods, AND people. Those who setup the EU know that, thus they did what they did. The US and China each have massive markets, meaning that their corporations can grow large in their own countries before they try to compete with the rest of the world. This is why they do so well economically. Europe has only just started to get this. The companies within have to compete with each other and develop new ways to run efficiently. The companies that don't go away and the efficient ones stay and grow stronger. This gives Europe a chance to compete in a globalized world.

Denmark rebelling and closing up their borders sets a bad example and decreases the size of the combined market. Trucks at the border have to be inspected. People commuting from Germany or Sweden to Denmark or back have to wait in lines. More time lost, and time is money. I really don't understand what they are trying to do as they mostly hurt themselves, confining their companies to a small market. Even their currency is a joke as it is pegged to the Euro but they still don't "use" the Euro. They've more or less been using the Euro for years, just not in name. People still have the added bureaucracy of converting currency from Euro to Krone and back again. The harder it is to do business, the less you'll do.

So, yes, much to lose. Money and jobs.
21:44 May 13, 2011 by whpmgr
All: If it is ok for the poor and uneducated to come to europe, and lower the standard of living, then vote on it. SOmeon above stated that the cultures of these uneducated and poor are often better than ours adn I say WTFO? Why then, is most of Africa poor and undeveloped with little to show for itself except failed governments and despots? Why aren't the brightest there fixing it? Why don't they rule the world's economy? After all their culture is superior to ours,you know, the cultures that invented modern medicine, or at least developed it? The countries that made flight, and most all technologies possible and produced most if not 99% of the world's wealth?

If you allow millions of people to come and ruin your country, you are to blame when the world just stops being productive and we all go back to living in huts, with no medical help or guard against disease, or crime, or wandering hoardes of criminals.

Yes, lets progress to be free, open, anarchists, and let chaos reign. Hey who knows? Maybe chaos will do a better job giving yo the internet so that you can make stupid and ignorant comments about how great teh African, or many poor asian island cultures are better than ours- Oh Yeah, you dont think these things out, you just say them. You feel, you dont know.

Sorry, my rant may be disrespectful, and therefore as ignorant as others, but I get tired of the feel good society. Progress takes tough decisions to ensure survival, and we are all in survival mode if we are smart.
21:49 May 13, 2011 by toemag
As I cross the Austrian/German border a couple of times a week, I can assure you they may have got rid of the check points, but they are by no means uncontrolled, The German Police are very efficiently stopping and searching any vehicle that their trained eyes find suspicious. The Zoll are also very busy on the German roads.
23:28 May 13, 2011 by anonimity
@pseu - 'Same tired argument everyone is sick of'? - you must be some sort of a god then who has spoken to everyone... or a politician :)

@Englishted - you might want to research the economic argument, the monetary argument (favoured by the politicians), the social argument or the cultural argument - unlikely to find much on any of these in the Daily Mail though, I am afraid... ;) I like the notion around the lines that European culture is in decline and it could really do with some new influences...

but it's only comments on a web-page - lighten up all, OR be properly serious and responsible...
04:34 May 14, 2011 by Swag2TZ
Oh well, the EU is a JOKE people. Its high time to return to your own currencies,

your own laws, and be yourselfs.....Dutch, German, French. The WORLD is a dangerous place, Open Borders...? Are you kidding me...!!! The EU can't solve anything. Completely useless. It doesn't work for the people, maybe the politicians, but who are they...? Spend your tax money, eh.
08:12 May 14, 2011 by JPaul
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
08:25 May 14, 2011 by Englishted
@ JPaul

Hindi-Urdu is the fourth most commonly spoken language in the world, after Mandarin, English, and Spanish.

I think that more than Arabic don't you ?.

@by anonimity,

You v'e got a point ( I'll lighten up it's the weekend) but it is scary whats going on in parts of the U.K.
13:28 May 16, 2011 by delvek
The EU has an expiration date as all things do.

EU is like cottage cheese, not going to be around long.

... memories, light the corners of my eye (sniff sniff) ... misty water colored memories (sniff sniff) ... of the way we were ...
10:06 May 17, 2011 by Weia9000
I think it is so interesting there is so many racists in this non-German site, sociological enchanting that people bring their mental problems with them to another country and then shooting them selves in the foot.

If you look at Denmark's history, from a racial point of view, nothing is new, the weird thing is that Denmark has been a member of EU since 1972, which next year is 40 years and still half of the population can not see the benefit, progress, in a greater perspective.

The European union problem is that people feel connected to the piece of land, the street, hood, city, community they where born, even thou they live in another country, fast they become possessive over even another area. Even if it literately never will be theirs, people have migrated always and will always do so.

But Denmark's problem is far greater than that, the danish people has no identity, we shift like the weather and are in general impressed by any political trend, just with a 5 to 30 year delay as we are now in our Ronald Reagan period. Where political sense is going from consensus via populism into neo-fascism light, which goes only because we as a people do not kill foreigners, we just bully them as much as we can,

As a Greenlandic gentleman said the other day to a bullying Dane.

"I was born in YOUR own country"
13:02 May 18, 2011 by wenddiver
I think it is in Beowulf "Let all who know, there is nothing he sees he doesn't rule, and no people happier than the Spear Danes".

Also my favorite country in Europe. Their Army kicks butt in Afganistan too. God Bless them, our British and Polish allies (GROM ruled in Iraq).

PS. Don't drive over the ducks.
02:05 May 24, 2011 by rumcajs
Nothing against Americans and in fact I have very cool American friends but the arogance of some of you has no limits. You realy think you are something special coz of your passport. You are also immigrants and think you have more righ to move around than Europens them selves to the point of supporting border controls in which YOU would be checked TOO. Why do you think you can and not the others.

How can you tell others not to come if you came fist ... and from a country made by immigrants. If we are gonna follow that b****t, so go back to England and me to Spain and lets give the whole North and South America to the indians. Oh sorry... I forgot that we killed most of them.
02:55 May 24, 2011 by SockRayBlue
Don't worry about the influence of the US regarding Europe. As soon as we get rid of the idiot in the White House and clamp down on money going out to other countries we can all breath easier.
15:59 May 24, 2011 by Beachrider
All this OT racial-stuff aside, the Danes DO get to put up gates, but it DOES diminish the value of the Eurozone & the EU. Some extra-nationalistic spirit needs to arise or the Eurozone & EU will have a limited lifetime.

No one else is doing this to the EU, it is something that arises from within. There are some EU forces that will disparage the Eurozone, though. Their motivations are different.
19:22 May 24, 2011 by Incredible14U
It is quite an eye opener coming in here to make a comment, having read the above shows all is not well. The eu leaders who started to bomb libya, sarkozy and cameron to note, did'nt plan for the overflow of refugees from libya??? shows they can't think ahead can they? Germany will soon awaken and think for its self hence the sale euro bonds backed by german banks, the uk has no money like the usa. With euro bonds will become the new global currency replacing the usa dollar(goodbye USA) forget the green back its the blue back the world will want. The eu in some form or other "WILL" become the worlds next super power....its a sure thing !!!
08:41 May 25, 2011 by delvek
@ sockrayblue

You got that right. The day is coming when America retracts into more of an isolationist stance. The billions in aid to everyone with a hand out, the billions spent keep world order, all that is going to stop. Americans have grown tired of the deflation of its dollar and the constant finger pointing for being the only one trying to stabilize this screwed up world. Americans are going to vote more and more each time for a less global and more self focused policy both domestic and foreign.

When that day comes, every country and I mean EVERY country is going to miss America.


lol, are you serious? The Euro couldnt work its way out of a paperbag. The only prosperous country is Germany and its a bucket in comparison to US economic might. You have to see the forest not the tree!
17:36 May 25, 2011 by wenddiver
@Incredible14u- I don't think anybody in the US would dicourage you from outting all your money in the EURO if you want to. Go ahead, let us know how it works out for you. Lots of Germans have bet the farm on the fall of the US before, the Kaiser thought if he could just get an Alliance with Mexico they could conquer the US for him in World War I, Hitler knew for sure that the US was finished when Japan destroyed our flett at Pearl Harbor in the middle of a Great Depression, Naploean Bonaparte Knew that he could get Louisiana back from the US easily hen the US colpased, De Gaulle knew that the US was finished as a World Power with the rise of Russia, Kruschev knew the Soviets would bury the US, King George knew the Americans could be easily disarmed and sent home at Lexington and Concord, Napolean the Third knew the Confederte States of America would easily beat the US.

Based on history and the experts the US is obviously finished and has been so for over 200 hundred years! I would bet everything on their demise, if I was you. How strong can a people be who Defend every Western Democracy in the world, while fighting two large wars and have voluteers left over to chase terrorists world wide.

Yah, the experts agree, they are finished.
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