Wednesday, November 5, 2014

When Things in the EU Really Aren't Equal

This is one of those EU-type stories that takes a minute to put into prospective.

This Afghan family somehow got themselves into Italy.  No one says precisely how.....if they flew in, or sailed in, or even rode on the back of a trailer into the country.  But, they got to Italy and proclaimed themselves some type of status.

Well, in Italy...there's not much enthusiasm for refugees of any type.  Funding is going to amount to much.  Temporary shelter conditions amount to a shack.  Locals helping in any fashion is a marginal thing.

After a while, the Afghan family woke up and realized that as bad as Afghanistan was....Italy was just marginally better, and it was better to pack and leave out of Italy.  You can probably sense where this is going.

So, they end up in Austria.  They settle in....apply for asylum there (just like they'd done in Italy).  Strangely enough, the Austrians compare notes and notice that there's already an application in Italy, so no need to settle in Austria.  Yep.....they didn't want the refugees anymore than Italy....but they were smart on this paperwork requirement.  Note, I went to two sources in Austria who laid out their part of the story....each spoke of prior paperwork.  The German press?  They won't say that part.....they just say that Austria refused to approve them....just skipping the "why" in this story.  Just another sign of slant in news.

The Afghans are a bit peeved....pack up and go to Switzerland.  I's some walk around Europe episode, but it gets better.

There in Switzerland, they apply for asylum once again.  The Swiss somehow dig into this and find the Italian paperwork, and then start deportation paperwork to send them onto Italy.  The Austrians were smart....they just refused to participate, period.  The Swiss got active and actually wanted to send them onto their original place of entry, where paperwork is started.

Naturally, all of this gets lawyers involved.  They run up a protest to a EU court.  What the EU court said after careful's just not right to send the refugees back to Italy from Switzerland, because of woeful conditions for refugees in Italy.  The German press told the story last night, and then injected video of some shack city on the outskirts of some Italian town, that looked like shack-city, Brazil, or shack-city-Cairo, Egypt.

So, for the time being....the Swiss can't dump the Afghan family back into Italy.  The Swiss haven't said much.  I suspect they aren't going to do much....just hand the family enough food money to cover daily minimums and offer some marginal shelter deal.

Where all this leads back a marginal or non-existent EU policy or individual state policy to handle refugees, period.  It simply doesn't exist....mostly because no one ever expected this kind of mess.  And most folks in Europe don't want to see tens of thousand arriving monthly from some miserable country in great turmoil.  The curious thing.....there's this application for the Afghan family existing in Italy for asylum.  Nothing will move on it, at present, and I doubt if the Swiss will discuss this....putting the family into a nothing-will-happen stance.

As for the pitiful shack-city deal in Italy?  If you took an average German and put them into some shack-city deal here in Germany (as they currently run the system)....the German would be hostile and frustrated.  But the German has settled for the long-run....over thousands of years, and built what they had into a dynamic society.  Much of the same can be said for Switzerland and Italy.

Things are unequal, and they've been unequal for a long time.  And even within the EU, things are unequal, and they've been that way for a long time.

No comments: