The changing face of immigrant Europe
The chaotic migrant problem in Europe has led to cities like Rome seeing historic sites taken over by gangs, making it both dangerous and unrecognisable. But now Brussels wants to off-load the new migrants to countries like Poland. They won't be happy, but will the EU give them a choice?
Are the cities of Poland, Croatia, and other eastern European and Baltic countries of the EU about to be changed through massive African and Asian migrant settlement?
With thousands of migrants every day walking unchallenged across Europe’s porous south-eastern borders and an EU taxpayer-funded ferry service across the Mediterranean for unlimited numbers of migrants, the EU political class is now desperate to distribute these migrants to avoid social unrest.
Facing growing opposition at home to their sixty-year policy of African and Asian (mainly Muslim) immigration into western Europe, the Brussels political class are now looking eastwards for new places of immigrant settlement.
The EU political classes are worried. With no intention of stemming the flood of migrants into Europe, they need virgin territory to off-load their self-made problem.
It’s easy to see why Europe’s political classes are worried. The Front National in France and Pegida in Germany are mounting sustained and growing opposition to the policy of relentless immigration.
Germany has witnessed large-scale demonstrations, in some cases violent, against EU immigration policy. In one German town, Freital in Saxony, there have been nightly demonstrations by most of the residents against the imposition of hundreds of immigrants on the town.
France is on permanent security alert against Islamist terrorism, and lethal anti-Semitism is on the rise, much of it caused by home-grown and immigrant Muslims.
The Northern League in Italy is also flexing its muscles against relentless immigration. In Rome, local residents have been in violent clashes with police against migrant settlements.
None of this should surprise us. Western Europe has been changed beyond recognition as a result of thoroughly undemocratic immigration policies forced on the peoples of Europe by Brussels. There are clear signs that the people have had enough.
The extent to which Western Europe has changed was brought home to me on a recent trip to Italy and Croatia. What a stark contrast these two countries make.
Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, was a delight to walk around. It was welcoming, friendly and, amazingly, it was safe and hassle free. It was what western European cities used to be like.
What a contrast it made with Croatia’s neighbour Italy, a country that today, in some places, is almost unrecognisable as Italian.
For example, at the Vatican in Rome, we and every other tourist around us were set-upon and intimidated by gangs of Sri Lankan, Indian, Roma and African (according to police) migrants who were illegally selling “tickets” to Saint Peter’s, even though entry to the Basilica is free.
To me, Saint Peter’s Square resembled a Third World shanty town. Well-organised gangs had erected make-shift tents in the square in front of Saint Peter’s and would swoop on visitors, pretending to be official ticket-sellers and insisting a ticket was essential for entry to the Basilica.
Innocent tourists fell for the scam, many of them aggressively intimidated, and all in full view of the police who did absolutely nothing to stop it. These gangs felt completely free to plague and rob innocent tourists, particularly the elderly, who in some cases had their wallets snatched from them as they paid for the illegal tickets.
These African and Asian gangs were everywhere, on the roads leading to the Vatican, in Saint Peter’s Square and at the Vatican Museum. They seemed to have taken complete control of the place and it was simply impossible to avoid them.
So intimidating was the whole experience that I approached and spoke to other tourists about it. They all agreed: they would never set foot in Rome again.
And it wasn’t just the Vatican. On the famous Sant’ Angelo Bridge with its Bernini designed statues lining the balustrade, it was impossible to stand in peace and appreciate, or even to see, these famous statues.
The entire bridge was taken over by African immigrant street traders. They had spread blankets for sale across the statues the full length of the bridge, and harassed visitors. Again, all of this was done in full view of the police who did nothing to stop it.
Indeed, so apparently accommodating of these gangs were the police that I feared if I complained to them, I would be prosecuted for a “hate crime”.
Most visitors that morning to the Sant’ Angelo Bridge, like me, eventually had to give up and go for a cup of coffee, only to be hassled again by begging migrants who were allowed into cafes to intimidate customers.
Judging by our experience in Rome, it was certainly no surprise to read recently that a visitor to Rome’s Colosseum was held at knife-point by a character shouting “Allah is great”.
Rome today is not the city it was even twenty years ago. Like white-flight from the US city of Detroit, large areas of Rome have the stamp of a city abandoned by Italians whose sense of civic responsibility has been turned upside-down by a corrosive self-blame culture of surrender -- a culture, many believe, endorsed by Pope Francis who publicly kissed the feet of illegal migrants in a show of solidarity with them as “victims”.
With such misplaced sentiment distorting the public’s sense of civic responsibility, it’s no real surprise the Italian police look on indifferently as law-abiding people are ruthlessly intimidated and robbed by criminal gangs.
And it’s not only Rome that has migrant problems. On a visit to the town of Vicenza in northern Italy I witnessed one evening an extraordinary scene.
A group of migrant African men were hanging around the Basilica Palladiana, a famous World Heritage Site associated with the Renaissance architect Palladio. Two of these men were urinating up against the famous columns, with several police officers looking on but studiously ignoring the criminal act.
I mentioned this incident to the hotel receptionist and was told that the local Italians no longer go into the town centre after 8 pm. Loitering migrants, I was told, can turn from daytime begging to aggressive targeting and intimidation at night.
Vicenza, like Rome, is no longer a safe city.
What is happening in Italy today is the reason Angela Merkel and the whole European establishment are looking at the new EU countries of central and eastern Europe to share the burden.
The EU political classes have no intention of respecting the democratic wishes of the people by bringing to an end mass migration to Europe. Their only problem is where to put the mass of immigrants, and Angela Merkel is looking eastwards and north. She also has a fat cheque-book.
This is an important decision time for the eastern European and Baltic EU countries. Will the people of Poland, Croatia and the Baltic states follow western Europe down the path of mass immigration?
The official EU establishment line is that mass immigration “enriches” us. But if they truly believe that, why are they desperate to disperse the migrants away from Germany, Italy and France?
That’s a question Poland and Croatia and the Baltic countries would do well to ask themselves. Do they want their cities to become like Malmo and Rome and the banlieue of Paris? They may not have much choice.
Vincent Cooper is a regular contributor to The Commentator
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