The final results of the Hungarian general election are out. The governing Fidesz party scored an overwhelming victory. Viktor Orbán, the Hungary’s well-known right-wing populist leader, will have another four years to lead his illiberal regime. It is the first time after the fall of the communism in Hungary when a party will be governing for the third consecutive term. Let’s look at the country’s political landscape and try to find out what happened.
Mein lieber Gott! So, according to recent polls, German Chancellor’s popularity is on rise again. Does Merkel have to do anything but change the colour of her costume to make a “political comeback”?
Perhaps our German friends are drinking too much beer and eat to many Bratwürste by the evenings to have enough time to follow politics, because I cannot understand it otherwise. Whatever it may be, this overrated and lacklustre politician sat through her office withholding any decisions until it was absolutely inevitable. And when she took them, she made everything much worse: think of Ukraine, Greece or now, Turkey.
While Turkey descends into an autocratic sultanate and guns down the Kurds, Merkel negotiates a draft deal that gives Turkey: a) payments for returning migrants from Greek islands back to Turkey, b) visa-free travel for Turkish citizens from June 2016, c) speeding up EU membership negotiations across all chapters, d) 6 bn EUR that are (supposed) to be allocated for refugee facilities for Syrians in Turkey. Plus, the preliminary agreement includes a nice clause reminiscent of trading with human beings – for every Syrian moved from the Greek islands to Turkey, Turkey will move another Syrian to one of the 28 EU Member States. Besides being fairly twisted, does it even make any sense?
Now, what the EU gets out of it? More secure borders? More money for the Greeks and other countries to improve their refugee facilities? Recognition of Cyprus’ territorial integrity? Ceasing violence against our anti-ISIS allies, the Kurds?
Well, there is your answer how useful politician Merkel is.
The purpose of this article is to overview the issues and arguments surrounding the question of mass immigration to Europe. Its analysis is conceptually and in the use of available data focused on the last decade of immigration to what is now the European Union of 27 member states. In doing so, it takes a critical stand on those arguments suggesting that Europe, for various reasons related to the economic growth, needs large-scale immigration in order to preserve its wealth and way of life to the future. Our analysis shows that when taken in the overall perspective, that is, when the immigration of low- and high-skilled workers is calculated together with public expenses with which the issue of immigration is connected and with tax gains that immigrants bring, the net economic gain is very low or none. However, although not being the focus of our present text, the underlying theme of this work is also to suggest that immigration needs to be consider also from other then economic terms and the results of our analysis cannot be taken as sole factor for providing political decisions on immigration to European countries.
In approaching our topic, we first make an overview of immigration trends to Europe. This overview provides both empirical and theoretical background information required for our subsequent evaluation of the arguments of official EU bodies and commentators, who claim that mass immigration is economically beneficial, and indeed necessary, for Europe.