Unwelcome Immigrants

From the May 1999 Trumpet Print Edition

The election of center-left governments in Western Europe has galvanized the far right into an offensive against liberal immigration laws in the EU’s leading countries. In France, right-winger Bruno Megret promises a cash reward in his campaign for election. If he has his way, couples who produce racially correct offspring will be given a cash bonus.

A one-time fascist from Italy, Gianfranco Fini, receives plaudits from the public for his right-wing ravings against Italy’s 13 million foreign residents.

The Christian democrats of Germany mount strong resistance to Gerhard Schröder’s stated policy for the liberalization of citizenship laws for immigrants, largely from Turkey and Eastern Europe.

Each of these countries is now fighting seemingly endemic unemployment. The ranks of the existing unemployed are due to swell over the next year due to the spate of corporate mergers trailing in the wake of globalization and the effect of the euro.

Under such conditions the right-wingers will have an increasingly appreciative audience as they call for closure of their euro-free borders—a grim reminder of the past—to further immigration. Race will yet become, once again, a key issue in European politics.