Monday, August 28

Imigration from Eastern Europe

Letter published today in The Journal
The recent government official figures, state that half a million East Europeans had applied for work in Britain since EU enlargement two years ago. This is much greater than predicted.
The actual number of workers from these countries is actually higher still as the figures do not include 100,000 that have become self-employed people like builders or plumbers, who do not have to join a worker's registration scheme.
What we have not heard or seen anywhere in the media is why it is happening, and why this mass migration was both inevitable, once these countries entered the European Union.
It is in fact a problem of agriculture. Something like 25 percent of Poland's 40 million population is dependent for its income on the land – 10 million or so people - and other EU enlargement countries have similar ratios. Yet, in a modern economy, this is unsustainable. agriculture, typically, can only support between 2-4 percent (in Britain it is lower), and then only with considerable protection and subsidy.
In joining the EU, the enlargement countries – as expected – have been forced into a massive programme of rationalising (reducing) their farming industries, which means that people are being forced off the land as rural employment declines.
In all the EU accession countries the industrial base is also contracting. Under the dual assault of EU 'environmental' protection laws and the prohibition on vital state aid – with the added problem of global competition - many of the former state-owned enterprises have shut down or have reduced their labour forces.
Hence a situation where not just the rural economy is shedding labour, so to is the industrial sector and the governments are unable under EU rules to install corrective action.
To try and stop the mass influx of eastern Europeans into the UK, without dealing with the core issue – European agricultural subsidies – is like Canute trying to stop the tide coming in.

1 comment:

Romualda Martisiene said...

I have read the article on Eastern European immigration with great interest because I come from this part of the world and my comment is the following:

The start of immigration process to Britain as well as other countries of Europe was given by Sir W.Churchill, F.Roosevelt and J.Stalin in Yalta, 1945 and for more than 50 years the consequences of the conference had been telling not only on the loss of millions of human lives in this area, but on all generations of this region years after it, and thus, in this sense, we again come across with the so-called ‘lost generation‘ term marked by damaged mentality and lost cultural identity, not speaking about broken economy.

I was born in this territory, grew up, matured and witnessed all evil consequences communism had brought us. Speaking rudely lost lives are lost lives and they are merely statistic facts about the past historically but who will ever be able to measure the evil influence the communist system made on the mentality of the rest of the population, esp.young people who were made to mature under double standards and distortion of all human nature?

In this respect the worst damage the conference resolutions inflicted on the condemned Eastern European world and its life style was and is SLAVE‘S syndrom.

I am sure if the biblian MOSES appeared one day here, in these countries, he would take the 20th century slaves to wander in the desert not for 40 years, but for much much longer. While there is no Moses at the present time, the current slaves wander around BRITAIN‘S territory and are learning to be free...

I see immigration from- Eastern- Europe- to- Britain problem as a consequence of the same resolutions in 1945 made by the world famous statesmen: Britain has started experiencing its negative influence quite recently and in the most delicate form ( I dare say) compared to the hell the Eastern part had to undergo and is still undergoing , this time together with you , in your country, fleeding from the world in ruins in their destroyed homelands and minds, making British feel worried, disappointed and critical.

But isn‘t it the share we both have to face and experience, the share our parents and us had been tasting on the skins and lives all life long? Isn‘t it the share your parents and you have to face and experience TODAY, many years later, after the 20th century had been divided into evil and good by what? By historic conditions? By the three statesmen? By GOD? Isn‘t it the share we both have to face and experience like soldiers having stood behind the opposite barricades for years but finally united and trying to share the bread?

I see double benefit the immigration causes for Britons and for Eastern Europeans: the first is Eastern Europeans mostly do low qualification work, and isn‘t it a relief for the Britons? At the same time Eastern Europeans learn from Britons open and free communication , trust , human approeach , this way SLAVE‘S psychology is being gradually destroyed. Secondly, people from the East earn more in the UK and are able to support their families in their home countries, this way improving life quality in the East.

Maybe Britons should not complain about their present situation due to high immigration scale, but try to look at the immigrants from the East as their brothers who had been born in prison not through their own fault, who spent the majority time of their life in it and all of a sudden, one day, it appeared that their only fault was their innocence? Aren‘t such prisoners worth to be given a hand to get up out of the pit?

I find us, from the East of Europe, and you, from the West, to be the hostages of the time and the world separation in the post –war period, today joined in another, more peaceful- in- some- aspect time, but still hostages.

To my mind if we are able to accept, share and solve the problems we come across on immigration path, and not only, I hope one day we can be callled the UNITED STATES OF EUROPE.

Romualda Martisiene