It shook the entire Continent. It damaged huge political parties, destroyed smaller ones. It thrust new ideologies and movements upward and jolted fundamental attitudes toward rule of law, democracy, freedom and faith.
It elevated the Alternative für Deutschland from a small, nerdy, economics-focused fringe party into a mass movement. It pushed the current version of the Italian fascist party into power in Italy and led to a whole generation of politicians modeled after Benito Mussolini.
It was the 2015–2016 migrant crisis. And then it faded away. In 2015, 1.2 million people had officially applied for asylum within the European Union. By 2017, that figure had been halved.
The crippled political parties never recovered, Europe’s economy still struggles, and the riverbed of basic attitudes about society had been diverted into a new course—but at least the massive influx of impoverished, Muslim, and sometimes aggressive and violent incomers was over. Or so people thought.
Migrant Crisis 2.0
In the first six months of 2023, more than half a million migrants applied for asylum within the EU. That’s up nearly 30 percent compared to the year before and the highest for that time period since the first crisis.
Many of them are flowing past or onto the little Italian island of Lampedusa. It has a population of 6,000. September 12 and 13, 7,000 migrants arrived in about 48 hours. The island has more migrants than residents. Overstretched hospitals struggle to give them basic medical care. The tourist industry is collapsing as the island becomes associated with migrants and crime, not sunny getaways. Some migrants broke out of the asylum center and set up roadblocks.
Italy quickly flies the migrants out of Lampedusa to large centers. But northward across the Alps, Germany is still dealing with former Chancellor Angela Merkel’s declaration that the nation could welcome in almost unlimited numbers of migrants. This year, 30 percent of all asylum applicants went to Germany, more than any other European country by far. Just under 14 million first-generation migrants now live in Germany—about 17 percent of the population—and they are profoundly affecting society.
One of the big political debates of the summer was, do swimming pools need round-the-clock police protection? Pools have closed as staff have quit or refused to work because they don’t want to deal with all the attacks on pool patrons. These attacks come predominantly from Muslim migrants preying on young German women, but few journalists or politicians will talk about it.
All signs indicate the problem is going to get worse. Flooding in Libya killed more than 10,000 people and uprooted tens of thousands more. About 3,000 died in Morocco’s earthquake. Both Niger and Mali have undergone coups over the summer. Sudan is in civil war, forcing an estimated 4 million people to flee their homes and 6 million to the brink of famine. Chad and the Central African Republic face internal violence. Terrorist groups pledging allegiance to the Islamic State or al Qaeda are active in Mali and Burkina Faso.
One of Europe’s responses to the 2016 migrant crisis was to pay African dictators to lock migrants in concentration camps. Turkey blocked migrants from the Middle East. Sudan and Algeria prevented Africans from reaching the Mediterranean coast. Now some of these governments have fallen, leaving gaps in Europe’s border wall.
Europe’s second great migrant crisis has barely begun. And now those who talked tough about migration the first time around are in the government.
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is one example. Her patriotic and immigrant-averse rhetoric helped bring the Brothers of Italy party—successor to the National Fascist Party—all the way from 2 percent of the vote and nine seats in its first election 10 years ago to 26 percent last year, a plurality, 184 seats, leadership of the coalition and ascension to the prime minister’s office. Now she is being tested and could lose her popularity and her office if she doesn’t deliver a solution. She did visit Lampedusa, but at one point her car was blocked by protesters. Yet she doesn’t sound like she knows what to do. “The question is not how to unload the problem,” she admitted on Italian state television channel Rai 1, “it’s how to stop the arrivals in Italy, and I still don’t see any concrete answers.”
Everyday Europeans want to empathize with those suffering in North Africa and the Middle East. But they see that bringing hundreds of thousands of poorly screened young men into European cities is not the answer: It imports crime, housing shortages, rising national debts and other problems. Recognizing this reality does not make average Europeans racist, extreme or far-right. Yet few voices in mainstream news or politics will even acknowledge these problems.
But if they want solutions, there are few good options. In some countries, the only parties that will address the problem are genuinely extreme, even neo-Nazi. In other countries, they are more reasonable—but to address the problem, they must work with concerned parties in other EU countries and thus compromise with the extremists.
It’s this dynamic that has pushed ordinary people to vote for parties in Germany and Italy that trace back to the fascists of the 1920s and 1930s. Those voters are not necessarily Nazis—it’s just that they have no alternatives for containing the ongoing disaster.
But what if even these so-called extreme parties—and actually extreme parties—fail? Where does Italy go from Meloni and light fascism? Where will Europeans turn?
For decades, mainstream parties in the West have had similar principles and values: free trade, free health care, confronting climate change and tolerating or even encouraging immigration. They view themselves as tolerant, compassionate people. But troublingly, they have used their political power to make pursuing a different vision for their countries almost impossible.
These more-or-less globalist ideals are now enshrined in law: national law, constitutional law, international treaties and foundational documents like the European Convention on Human Rights. This convention does more than secure life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, and other basic rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution. These liberal elites see themselves as more compassionate than that: Their rights include the right to family life, the right of refugees for asylum, and the right to clean air and water (which has inspired numerous climate-change court cases).
For decades, the elites have intertwined their principles within Europe’s entire system of government. Any efforts to deal with migration get tripped up in endless court cases. An immigrant gets a girlfriend? His right to a family life means you can’t deport him. He “loses” his passport? If you can’t identify him, you can’t deport him. He claims to be homosexual, Christian or part of the political opposition? If he were sent home, he would suffer persecution—so he cannot be deported. Every migrant seeks such exceptions. After years of litigation, if the courts finally approve deportation, he has long since gone missing.
When Meloni and other leaders who oppose mass migration are elected, this is what they are up against. Italian law, European law and treaty obligations all block them from deporting migrants or even meaningfully limiting immigration.
When times are good, people go along with this status quo. But times are getting worse. More and more people are fed up with not only the immigration policies but the entire system.
Breaking the Law
There is a simple solution: Take the migrants illegally entering through Lampedusa, European waters or European shores and dump them back in Africa. Don’t bother trying to figure out where they’re originally from—they will have thrown their passports overboard anyway. Just stick then in Libya or Algeria.
Arguably, this is also the compassionate solution. Around 20,000 migrants have died or disappeared trying to cross the Mediterranean since 2014. Returning all the migrants back to Africa removes most of the incentive for them to cross. It would save thousands of lives.
This is how Australia solved its crisis. It set up detention centers in places like Papua New Guinea, Christmas Island and Nauru. One thousand drowned trying to get to Australia in the decade leading up to 2013. Once Australia made the change and began turning back boats, the number of boats and number of deaths plummeted.
Europe has a working model. But for the EU to adopt it would be illegal.
Liberal elites have presented the fed-up citizens of Europe with two options. Option 1: Accept indefinite mass migration, let your earnings decrease and your taxes increase, watch your welfare state collapse, allow the transformation of your culture, accept your city becoming more dangerous, and capitulate to the now-accelerating brave new globalist transformation of Europe. Option 2: Break the law.
They could look for a third option, some legal way to change statutes, treaties and constitutional law. But that will take years—and they don’t have years.
Europeans will have to surrender to mass migration or smash the system. As the crisis gets worse, they will take the second option.
If leaders like Meloni prove unwilling to skirt the rule of law and deport migrants en masse, they will eventually be replaced by leaders who are.
A Strong King Is Imminent
The migrant crisis is just one of several significant pressures on Europe. For years, the Trumpet has warned that a radical change is coming to Europe. Daniel 8 and 11 have prophecies God gave about 2,500 years ago. Some of them have become history. In 323 b.c., a great “king of Grecia” attacked Persia, just as Daniel 8:5-7, 20-21 described. His name was Alexander the Great. But Daniel wrote primarily for “the time of the end” (verse 17; Daniel 11:40).
Daniel 8:23-24 describe the rise of “a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences.” Other prophecies show that this strongman will arise in Germany and lead Europe. Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry writes in his booklet A Strong German Leader Is Imminent: “This soon-coming ruler could literally be called a king. Even if he is not, the Bible gives him that title. When the Bible talks about a king, in most cases it’s saying that this is not a democratic government. Even if he doesn’t have that title, he is going to lead like a king. This vision in Daniel shows that the European empire is about to become a lot more authoritative.”
That means a massive change in Europe’s governance. The current mostly democratic system, with its flaws and advantages, is about to be smashed. Daniel describes what replaces it as a “beast”—an aggressive, warlike power, unrestrained by diplomatic niceties, special interests, inflated “human rights,” the will of the people or the rule of law.
By enshrining a constant flow of migrants into their core laws, Europe’s liberal elites have guaranteed their system will be brought down as a new generation of politicians confront these problems. Watch for this new Europe to rise rapidly.