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EU tells Hungary and Poland: Accept mass Muslim migration or leave

France and Germany, along with a host of up to 21 other countries, are set to demand Hungary and Poland either accept migrants under the quota system or leave the European Union.

The European Union is set to be a fragmented jumble, plagued by crime and broken economies, and it is all due to the reckless leadership of corrupt politicians who flung open the doors of their borders to unvetted Muslim refugees, at the expense of their own citizens. Based on the stance of the leaders of Hungary and Poland, those countries appear to be ready to thumb their noses at the EU and leave it.

Hungary has been detaining migrants and sending them back. Hungarian leader Viktor Orban angrily lashed out at Angela Merkel, warning her that the Muslim migrant crime problem in Germany would spill over into neighbouring countries, and stating that Hungary would not pay for Merkel’s error. Hungary also recently opened a military base at its border to stop migrants; Orban has declared 2017 “a year of rebellion” to “make Hungary great again,” and has rightly stated that “Europe is not free” because “freedom begins with speaking the truth.”

And in Poland:

Poland’s conservative Law and Justice Party (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość – PiS) swept to victory in 2015, partly due to voter anger over the previous government agreeing to take migrants under the quota system.

Back in January, riots erupted in Poland when Muslim migrants stabbed a local youngster to death after rumors that he had thrown a firecracker inside a Kebab diner.

Just hours after the initial riots took place at the crime scene, clashes between police and rioters in the neighbouring Polish town, Lublin, occurred as vandals sprayed anti-Muslim graffiti on a kebab shop that read: “F*** Islam and f*** ISIS.”

“European Union Tells Hungary and Poland To Accept Mass Migration Or Leave”, by Virginia Hale, Breitbart, April 4, 2017:

France and Germany, along with a host of up to 21 other countries, are set to demand Hungary and Poland either accept migrants under the quota system or leave the European Union (EU).

The two nations have ignored Brussels’ insistence that they take migrants presently residing in great numbers in Italy and Greece. Public opinion in Hungary and Poland is also strongly against being forced to accept thousands of migrants from non-European cultures.

Poland’s conservative Law and Justice Party (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość – PiS) swept to victory in 2015, partly due to voter anger over the previous government agreeing to take migrants under the quota system.

In Hungary, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has been a vocal opponent of the scheme from its conception, asserting that forcing member countries to take a compulsory quota of migrants is unlawful and will “spread terrorism around Europe”.

Later this year, the two countries will be given an ultimatum and have to decide whether they are willing to maintain an anti-mass migration stances if it puts their membership of the EU at threat, a senior diplomatic source from one of the bloc’s six founding member states told The Times.

The source said: “They will have to make a choice: are they in the European system or not? You cannot blackmail the EU, unity has a price.”

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) is expected to hold a hearing on the legality of migrant quotas in the coming weeks, with a judgement — widely expected to be in favour of the scheme — likely by the end of the year.

“We are confident that the ECJ will confirm validation,” the source said. “Then they must abide by the decision. If they don’t then they will face consequences, both financial and political. No more opt-outs. There is no more ‘one foot in and one foot out’. We are going to be very tough on this.”

Hungary challenged the court, insisting that it is culturally and constitutionally unreasonable to impose asylum seekers on unwilling member states.

In December, referring to policies of importing large numbers of people from the third world, Orbán stated that Hungary and other countries in Central Europe “have had the opportunity to learn from Western Europe’s mistakes”.

“Hungary is a stable island in the turbulent western world because the people were consulted on their opinions here, and we defended the country against illegal immigration.”

In 2015, when European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans demanded Eastern and Central EU nations undergo similar demographic transitions as in Western Europe, Hungary was singled out for special mention.

“Any society, anywhere in the world, will be diverse in the future — that’s the future of the world,” Timmermans said. “So [Central European countries] will have to get used to that. They need political leaders who have the courage to explain that to their population instead of playing into the fears as I’ve seen Mr Orbán doing in the last couple of months.”

Breitbart London reported that the European Union is to open asylum processing centres in west Africa and countries on the southern shore of the Mediterranean because the continent “needs six million migrants…..

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What Greek “Austerity”? by Steve H. Hanke

greek president

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras

It’s hard to find anything written or spoken about Greece that doesn’t contain a great deal of hand-wringing about the alleged austerity — brutal fiscal austerity — that the Greek government has been forced to endure at the hands of the so-called troika (the European Central Bank, the European Commission, and the International Monetary Fund).

This is Alice in Wonderland economics. It supports my 95% rule: 95% of what you read about economics and finance is either wrong or irrelevant.

The following chart contains the facts courtesy of Eurostat.

Social security spending as a percentage of GDP in Greece is clearly bloated relative to the average European Union country — even more so if you only consider the 16 countries that joined the EU after the Maastricht Treaty was signed in 1993.*

To bring the government in Athens into line with Europe, a serious diet would be necessary — much more serious than anything prescribed by the troika.

* Ed. note: The treaty created the EU and the euro and also obligated EU members to keep “sound fiscal policies, with debt limited to 60% of GDP and annual deficits no greater than 3% of GDP.” Ha!

Steve H. Hanke

Steve H. Hanke is a Professor of Applied Economics and Co-Director of the Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Greeks Prepare to Be Pillaged by Jeffrey A. Tucker

In the world of banking, a “holiday” means you can’t get your money. It’s been a few years since we’ve seen that happen in any developed world economy, but that is exactly what the Greek government is doing, starting now, to stop a massive bank run.

Greece owes the International Monetary Fund a payment of $1.5 billion, due tomorrow, from the last time the government was bailed out. But, of course, governments can’t make wealth, and the money didn’t just magically materialize. They have to beg, borrow, and steal to get it, and Greece has finally found those limits.

Athens had hoped that it could once against tap the European Commission. But drained and fed up, other governments refused to extend yet another loan to Greece unless they agreed to reform their bloated and corrupt welfare state.

Unfortunately for Greeks, the ruling coalition in Greece swept into power in January on the platform of stopping “austerity” and rolling back budget cuts. They balked at the EU’s (and especially Germany’s) conditions for the next round of bailout money.

As a result, Athens has really and truly run out of money, and they will default on their debts starting tomorrow — and the European Central Bank has said it will cut off emergency credit to Greek banks if the government fails to pay its debts.

The news that no deal would be reached sent bank depositors into a panic, and thousands have been lined up at ATMs all over the country since Friday.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced that he was closing all banks for at least a week as a way to stem the tide. Many ATMs are empty; the rest, by government order, will only dispense €60 per person per day. The government is now imposing capital controls to stop cash from leaving the country.

One thing needs to be said about this frantic authoritarian approach: It never works. Bank closings add to the atmosphere of panic. They are often followed by an announcement that the government is going to devalue or outright steal people’s money. Whatever trust remains in the system is drained away along with the value of the currency.

But there’s another factor in play, for the first time. People are looking at Bitcoin as a way to store and move money.

There is now a Bitcoin ATM in Athens that is reportedly doing a brisk business. Redditors are sharing tips. And, of course, the exchange rate of Bitcoin is on the move again.

This past week, I was out of touch of the news entirely because I was at the New Hampshire liberty retreat, Porcfest. There you can buy almost anything with Bitcoin, so I was checking the price often. I noticed the upward price pressure, and I had an intuition that something serious was happening.

Sure enough, this morning I was awakened by a call from Russia Today. They wanted me on a two-hour segment today to talk about the meltdown in Greece. I turned them down because I haven’t followed it closely enough (though that doesn’t usually stop most commentators!).

But when I looked into it, I suddenly understood: Sure enough, Bitcoin is on the move for a reason.

Many price watchers are predicting another spike in the exchange rate if Greece actually defaults and leaves the euro. Maybe, maybe not. It actually doesn’t matter. The exchange rate can be anything; it doesn’t affect the utility of having access to a global currency and payment system that is outside regional banking systems — one that can’t be closed, controlled, confiscated, or devalued at the whim of desperate regimes.

Cryptocurrency is here to stay. It is the world’s new safe haven, displacing the role that gold once played. The reasons are rather obvious: Bitcoin is more liquid than gold. It takes up no space, weighs nothing, and is more secure. Once you are an owner, nothing can take away what you own — and you don’t have to rely on a third party such as a gold warehouse or a bank (or a government) to take care of your money.

Given all of this, there is supreme irony in the announcement made by the Greek central bank last year that consumers should be wary of Bitcoin. Bitcoin is vastly more safe and reliable than any national currency, including the euro and the dollar.

There is no government anywhere that would decline to shut the banks if their ruling class feared financial meltdown. That’s what’s happening in Greece. That could happen in any European country, and it could happen (and has happened) in the United States, too.

In the end, government regards itself as the ultimate owner of all a nation’s currency and the wealth it carries.

It’s wise to have another option, and people have long known that. The question is: What is that option? Today, not for the first time, and not for the last, Bitcoin is here to save the day.


Jeffrey A. Tucker

Jeffrey Tucker is Director of Digital Development at FEE, CLO of the startup Liberty.me, and editor at Laissez Faire Books. Author of five books, he speaks at FEE summer seminars and other events. His latest book is Bit by Bit: How P2P Is Freeing the World.

Grexit? A flesh wound compared to Frexit (exit of France from EU)

The Telegraph reports this morning that Greek economic minister Varoufakis now threatens to sue in a higher court if the EU attempts to force Greece to leave the EU (our thanks to G. in the UK for this tip).

The article quotes French President François Hollande as follows:

“What is at stake is whether or not Greeks want to stay in the eurozone or want to take the risk of leaving,” said French president Francois Hollande.

Now you would think from this bold statement that Hollande heads up a country that pays its bills to the EU on time, wouldn’t you? After all, financial pundits are all saying that if Greece leaves the EU, Spain, Portugal and perhaps even Italy could be next. No one mentions France.

However, there’s a colossal French debt that no one wants to talk about, except some brave journalists like Francis Journot at the site Agora, who shows that France is actually the elephant in the EU room.

My translation of the opening paragraph of this extraordinary article follows:

The French State’s public debt has reached 6 trillion euros, equivalent to 5 years of tax receipts and nearly 300% of GDP. The process of extravagant financial operations [tentative rendition of cavalerie financière, see below] on the public debt that are available to the government since the banking law of Jan 3, 1973 exposes France more than ever to the volatility of the financial markets and to a default. More-confidential commitments, off the balance sheet and allowed by the State, for payment of retirement pensions of government employees and the like, could also prove impossible to meet in the long run. An exit from the EU could eventually be the only way out of a fraudulent system that is threatening to blow up. [my highlighting] [original text below]

This debt has been constantly fed by new loans to ensure reimbursement of the elderly and their interests, as well as new deficits. The amounts kicked down the road in this way are far greater than those payable by the Greeks. But the off-the-books debt is no less than the debt shown on the books. The author makes it clear, citing authorities, that this debt could never be paid without major growth through new investment in industry. Some of the debt is owed to the IMF and hence, represents US exposure.

One rendition of the term I rendered as “extravagant financial operations” is “Ponzi scheme” and that is just a more direct way of saying the same thing.

Now, if a Grexit is a threat to the integrity of the EU, a Frexit would spell certain doom to the already-shaky entity, and the entire globe is exposed.

Original text:

La dette publique de l’État français atteint 6 000 milliards d’euros, équivaut à plus de vingt années de recettes fiscales et près de 300% du PIB. Le processus de cavalerie financière de la dette publique auquel les gouvernements ont recours depuis la loi bancaire du 3 janvier 1973, expose plus que jamais la France à la volatilité des marchés financiers et au défaut de paiement. Des engagements plus confidentiels, hors-bilan et portés par l’État, pour le paiement des pensions de retraites des fonctionnaires ou assimilés, pourraient également s’avérer, à terme, impossibles à honorer. Une sortie de l’UE pourrait s’imposer comme l’unique voie de sortie d’un système de cavalerie qui menace d’exploser.   

End quote

Cavalerie financière is a fraudulent financial practice based on the discrepancies between the amounts and periods for recording income and outflows to mask a failure between resources and debt owed. Other possible renditions include “can kicking” and “Ponzi scheme.”

RELATED ARTICLE: The euro is a straitjacket for Greece

The European Union: Borders on the Brink of Breaking

The borders of Europe are coming under severe strain. As we predicted here earlier this year, the migrant ‘crisis’ is no such thing. It is, rather, an ongoing situation of continent-wide turbulence with no foreseeable end. European ministers this week met to discuss the situation, but even they will find themselves unable to solve the problem.

Because the problem they face is that the drivers of the situation are far beyond their control. They are beyond any one politician or any one government. Indeed, they are also proving to be beyond the continent. Let us imagine for a moment that the civil war in Syria was able to be stopped by outside intervention from the EU. This would over time lessen the flow of refugees from Syria. But it would do nothing to prevent the human tide of asylum seekers and economic migrants heading towards Europe from Eritrea and sub-Saharan Africa.

What is the EU plan to deal with these situations? In truth, the EU is finding it difficult to control its external borders. So it is highly unlikely to achieve peace and stability across one continent (the Middle East) and prosperity to another (Africa). Until those things do occur, the pressure of mass movement of people towards the entry points of Europe will continue.

So what can be done? It is a very ominous sign that in recent days, weeks and months so many countries have gone increasingly unilateral. The Austrians have severely tightened their border with Italy because they do not trust the Italian authorities. Hundreds of migrants have piled up in a backlog at a border which is wholly closed to them. Hungary is planning a physical wall to go up on its border with Serbia. And at the French port of Calais there are desperate sights as migrants clamber onto vehicles bound for the UK. With other European countries refusing to share Italy’s burden, the Italians are threatening to give refugees travel permits that would effectively make them able to go anywhere. It is a grenade they have not yet thrown, but a grenade nonetheless.

The dream of the EU was that the borders of Europe would come down. But as the continent comes to terms with this latest crisis, it has not been able to stand together. The free movement of EU citizens within the EU is one thing. But the free movement of non-EU citizens within the EU threatens the cooperation of the whole enterprise. If Europe is to face up to this challenge it must first accept what it cannot do. And then swiftly move on to doing what it can.


mendozahjs

FROM THE DIRECTOR’S DESK 

I am writing this week’s column with one eye fixed on a TV screen outlining latest developments in France and Tunisia, where the scourge of Islamist terrorism has once again struck with a tragic beheading at a factory near Lyons this morning and one at a tourist resort in Sousse this afternoon.

Words cannot adequately describe the senseless brutality of these acts of terrorism. But they can go some way to explaining it and similar acts of violence carried out in the name of religion as can be seen through Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks’ masterful new book,Not in God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence, which was the subject of a parliamentary discussion hosted by The Henry Jackson Society this week with its author.

Leaving aside the exemplary nature of Rabbi Sacks’ delivery of his central themes – which was described by the Member of Parliament hosting as the finest speech he had heard in his 18 years in the House of Commons – what came across clearly is the idea that while to deny that those who state they are acting on religious motives in committing violence are actually doing so is absurd, neither can it be said that there is an inherent relationship between religion and violence. As the author puts it: “there is a connection between religion and violence, but it is oblique, not direct.” Indeed, to take Rabbi Sacks’ argument further, as he does in the book, it is possible to see violence being carried out in the name of religion, but in reality it is being employed in pursuit of political, not religious objectives. Thus what ISIS and its adherents actually aspire to is temporal power in the form of a caliphate, even if this is dressed up in spiritual rhetoric.

This is an important factor to remember when considering events such as those witnessed today. We cannot deny the role of religion in terrorism, but we cannot consider religion just part of the problem and not also part of the solution. Arguably, it is only by Islam stripping away the political parts of its more extreme followers’ agendas from the religious ones of those of the moderate majority – as Christianity and Judaism did in their turn beforehand – that we will find the lasting way to meet the Islamist challenge.

Dr Alan Mendoza is Executive Director of The Henry Jackson Society

Follow Alan on Twitter: @AlanMendoza

Ideology, hidden obstacle to reason

I was recently surprised to note that a prominent British libertarian had sent out a bulk email suggesting that leaving the EU would not be much of a boon to the UK since such would not necessarily provide more “liberty” for Brits. Thus, he contends that UK “leaders” have the same totalitarian mindset as the EU “leaders” and the Brexit (exit of the UK from the EU) would not help matters. He mentioned that the UK government has at times exceeded even the legal limitations on power provided by the authoritarian EU and that offended Brits may occasionally benefit from European Court decisions that overturn excesses of UK authorities and judges. Since the European Court is an essential component of the EU, leaving the EU would therefore supposedly remove this supposed benefit.

This email did not contain the words Muslim or Islam. Yet the Islamization of the UK is one of the main concerns of those who support the Brexit.

I had tried to show my UK reader list how simply rolling over and playing dead, ie, not voting in the upcoming referendum or voting YES to stay in the EU was not an option, for one thing because it sends a signal to the EU top rank that the people of Europe have finally given up and are willing to acquiesce to total tyranny.

An article in The Atlantic reveals one very important reason why EU membership is a bad deal for the UK and all other industrial members, to whit:

“EU countries are legally barred from limiting immigration from other member states, a decision that has had a great effect on migration patterns on the continent.”

Now it is certainly true that the usurpers who have seized the internal UK reins of power (essentially Parliament and Downing Street) by deceit are, like the EU bureaucrats, also inclined to flood the UK with still more Muslims, a rapidly growing group that receives an inordinately high percentage of social assistance or welfare (as reported here and here) and which in polls is found to favor sharia law and jihad.

In 2014, Daniel Greenfield, discussing a recent poll in London, wrote:

“There are about 1 million Muslim settlers in London where they make up 12 percent of the population. These figures suggest that the vast majority of them, perhaps as high as 80 percent, support ISIS.”

A NO vote on the referendum would be a signal to the Brussels oligarchs that the people are no longer the lemmings they once were and will not take rampant Islamisation lying down.

It should not surprise anyone that libertarians tend to be more liberal on the issue of immigration. Their ideology teaches essentially that all humans must have the maximum freedom possible and is refractory to considerations of reality. The freedom to cross someone else’s border and gain access to another country’s welfare rolls could be seen as the ultimate in libertarian policy. US libertarians counter the fears of ordinary mortals by contending that welfare would be forbidden in a libertarian society, but their immigration positions ignore the fact that welfare is part of the current US reality, over which libertarians have little or no control, and the current socialist context is the one in which they propose to implement their immigration positions. Like their British counterparts, they therefore generally see even illegal immigration as either a non-threat or a boon. They believe that they could soon operate in a perfect world with no impediments whatsoever to individual freedom.

The trouble with this thinking — in case you are one of the few who need this pointed out to you — is that there really are two kinds of freedom, or liberty (liberté) as the French revolutionaries, ideological second cousins to today’s libertarians, called it.

ONE kind is individual freedom.

The SECOND is more subtle and easier to overlook, and that is, national sovereignty, ie, the freedom of a nation to chart and navigate its own course without interference from other nations or entities.

Today’s libertarians almost never talk about the second kind of liberty because to them, national sovereignty is an obstacle to individual liberty at all costs, which is the non-negotiable centerpiece of their creed. And non-negotiable here means reality be damned.

Ironically, however, this neglect of national sovereignty actually severely curbs individual liberty as well, at least in the real world down here beneath the rarefied stratosphere in which libertarianism thrives.

For example, if 80% of an indigenous population desires freedom of choice in its national lawmaking, then a rigid libertarian policy of legal residency for all and sundry may well lead to veritable inundation of this indigenous population with hordes of people who tolerate and even welcome totalitarianism. After all, to them, totalitarianism is their free choice. Once these hordes reach a critical percentage of the population, the tipping point will be passed and that one-time majority will now be subjected to the will of the newly arrived hordes. And here’s the real kicker: the libertarians who persuaded their unsuspecting countrymen to accept these hordes will now also be enslaved along with the rest. So much for liberté.

Worst of all, the above is not by any means just a hypothetical example. There is a projection that the UK will become a Muslim state by 2050, and while this has been poo-pooed by the Establishment media, The Commentator writes:

“This projection is based on reasonably good data. Between 2004 and 2008, the Muslim population of the UK grew at an annual rate of 6.7 percent, making Muslims 4 percent of the population in 2008. Extrapolating from those figures would mean that the Muslim population in 2020 would be 8 percent, 15 percent in 2030, 28 percent in 2040 and finally, in 2050, the Muslim population of the UK would exceed 50 percent of the total population.”

Thus the rigid and doctrinaire libertarianism with liberty as its Grail, is from the outset on a course of ineluctable self-destruction.

History presents us with a parade of ideologies, all of which have failed one after the other. Yet some flaw in the character of Homo sapiens leads us invariably to put aside our perception of reality, our built-in logic and reason, and even our sense of self-preservation in favor of untested ideologies propped up by high-sounding rhetoric. Somehow, our species never seems to notice that, precisely because ideologies supersede and subtly supplant reason and the perception of reality, all ideologies will eventually fail, always, just as they always have in the past.

The question is: Can we ever come to understand this simple fact and overcome this flaw in our DNA?