The article below is very informative and eloquent in analyzing Europe’s fundamental security concerns.
- Dr Yiorghos Leventis *
It appeared in the Greek website www.troktiko2.com on 7 January 2017.
- The author is Ioannis Michaletos.
It is an excellent piece of analysis. Michaletos makes very valid points. The article deserves reaching international audience. I took the effort to render it in English:
Throughout the so-called Arab Spring, all reliable organizations, state as well as NGOs issued a worldwide warning for serious risks emanating from jihadist fighters.
These extremists rushed out from Europe to the battlefields of the Middle East and then returned back.
However, despite the deadly attacks that happened, Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor personally took the decision to welcome unconditionally and without checks over one million of migrants and refugees in the period 2015-16. If to this number at least another million is added which went to Germany between 2012 and 2016 from Italy and other routes, then the total number exceeds of fresh migrants accounts for 3% of the German population.
It is estimated that 50% of those who travelled into Germany have used fictitious names with spurious personal information. Among them entered an unknown number of radicalized extremists and even terrorists. What is worse, substantial internal dispersion within the Schengen area has already taken place: after a short stay on German territory thousands of those [radicalized migrants] moved to neighbouring European countries.
As a result, Merkel’s government disseminated the problem across Europe, causing an economic cost in billions of Euros in addition to increased extremism, terrorism and crime, without ultimately any geopolitical advantage accruing to Berlin.
Furthermore, within Germany itself, this policy helps to reduce the electoral base of the ruling CDU party and contributes to the rapid elimination of its sister CSU party in Bavaria and the rise of AFD in combination with dozens of other civic movements that fight Merkel’s government. Moreover, Merkel’s choices contributed greatly both to the rise of the current that led to the Brexit, as well as to the growth to gigantic proportions of the so-called anti-European forces in France, Italy, Poland, Czech Republic and elsewhere.
All EU security services anticipate continuous and massive attacks in the coming period. Now the situation tends to get out of control because the suspects are now so many that the authorities fail to control them: a non-stop 24 hour monitoring of a [suspect] can employ up to 30 security officers, while the Schengen area creates a very wide latitude for unhindered movements. Furthermore, it is not terrorism which troubles the authorities but also a range of other issues. With the existing limited capacity of the [security & surveillance] authorities there is room for maneuver to forestall potential terrorist threats.
At another level, given Trump’s election in the US, Merkel’s government had the chance to initiate the process of normalization of EU-Russia relations. However, Merkel preferred to intensify the sanctions in 2017, pushing the EU on the sidelines of global developments in view of the US-Russia rapprochement. She also ‘achieved’ to completely remove the EU from playing any role in developments in the Middle East in conjunction with her complete failure to “control” Erdogan and Turkey. Moreover, the failure of Italy and the fall of PM Matteo Renzi is led by the hand of Merkel, showing in the medium term the way out of the Eurozone for Italy -and other Eurozone member states. At the same Merkel’s policy is not just that of austerity, but also of horrible bureaucracy and endless regulations. Such a policy downgrades the whole of the EU and Germany itself on the international scene.
By 2020, in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP) per capita GDP, Germany will be below Russia, Brazil, Indonesia and of course under the US, China, Japan and India, ultimately relegated to the 8th place. Around 2025 Mexico will surpass while South Korea and Turkey will be close to surpassing her. The IMF forecasts that by 2030 Iran will overtake Germany while Thailand will be at the same level.
The above scenarios – ceteris paribus – do not take into account a possible unplanned dismantling of the Eurozone or any other dramatic scenarios. In terms of industrial production, which is supposedly the strongest sector of the German economy, Germany does not account for more than 25% of total EU capacity, only 18% of China’s industrial production and 23% of the US equivalent. The agricultural production in Germany corresponds to 25% of the Russian equivalent, 13% of the US and 40% of the French. Even in the service sector, Germany stands at 1/7 of the US and one quarter of the corresponding Chinese sector.
In general, the alleged leading position of Germany under Merkel’s governance is based on two legs. The first leg is articulated via the control of EU Member States through the continuing “debt crisis” of the Eurozone – beginning with Greece in 2009. The second leg consists of controlling vital sectors of the Brussels bureaucracy through the appointment of hand-picked officials, coupled with establishing and controlling of networks which exercise influence on them. Some of these German personalities are:
Prof. Dr. Martin Selmayr, Head of European Commission President’s Cabinet Office
Johannes Laitenberger, Director-General of DG Competition
Matthias Ruete, Director-General for Migration and Home Affairs
Walter Radermacher, Director-General of Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, and Chief Statistician of the European Union since 2008.
In accordance with a Bruegel Institute (Brussels based economic think tank) survey, about 20% of key positions in Brussels are settled to Germans, but in higher positions it is even higher. In addition, Germany wields an extensive network that reaches national parliaments and local authorities.
However both these aspects have an approaching expiration date. Year after year Berlin’s debt crisis management simply destroys the national economies of all European countries leading eventually to faster dissolution of the Eurozone but also of the EU while the attempt to control the European Commission after the British exit will cause conflict with France. Paris turns the page in policy making in a few months and will seek vertical upgrading of its role. In general, the existing model is nearing its end and the advent of the Trump administration prepares the ground for the EU’s disintegration as we know it today. The identification of Merkel with the outgoing political class of the US Democrats (Clinton clan, Qatar, Soros, Eastern European lobbies) was a tragic mistake both for herself and for the longevity of the framework constructed in the last decade.
The only hope for the establishment of long-term stability in the European continent is the structured dismantling and recasting of the Eurozone with a hard core consisting of Northern and Central Europe and with the rest of Member States (MS) using national currencies.
This recast should be accompanied with massive deregulation at all levels, less state in all aspects of public life in all MS, serious incentives for the introduction of private sector leadership but also investments on a significant scale.
Otherwise the collapse will be reminiscent of the Eastern Bloc collapse in the early 90s.
- Director of International Security Forum www.inter-security-forum.org, Alumni Fellow, Peace & Governance Programme, United Nations University, Tokyo.