This 2016 video says about itself:
Walls of Shame – Fortress Europe: The Spanish-Moroccan border
The city of Ceuta is the southernmost outpost of fortress Europe. Yet it is on mainland Africa – opposite the Straights of Gibraltar.
It is one of the last vestiges of Spanish rule in northern Morocco. Madrid insists it will never relinquish control and has cordoned it off – prompting comparison with other walls of shame. …
But within the town of Ceuta is another divide – a social division that is religious and economic – between the wealthy Christian Spaniards and their poorer Muslim compatriots of Moroccan descent.
This episode of Walls of Shame first aired in November 2007.
Update: 2015 was the deadliest year on record for migrants and refugees attempting to get into Europe. Over 3,700 people died – the majority on sea crossings between Libya and Italy or Turkey and Greece.
Almost ten years ago, when the film first aired, the number of migrant deaths on Spanish territory had reached its peak. The world’s media only started to take notice when the drowned bodies of African migrants began washing ashore on the tourist beaches of the Spanish Canary islands.
Spain’s response was to stiffen its border security, but despite all the effort and expense spent on beefing up its borders, migration is on the rise. Migrants, hoping to be among the lucky few to reach the other side, have often rushed the border fence – sometimes with tragic consequences.
On one occasion in Ceuta in 2014, at least 14 African migrants drowned when trying to swim their way from Morocco to Spain. Those who made it alive were deported back to Morocco, on the other side of the wall.
Today this is no longer an issue isolated in a faraway Spanish enclave. The number of people hoping to reach Europe has swelled by a huge wave of refugees from wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Thousands of people are testing Europe’s borders, by the sea from Libya to Italy, and from Turkey to Greece, and then continuing over land to Europe’s more affluent countries.
In response Europe is building more walls. Today there are five existing fences across the continent, with at least another six either in construction or scheduled. Most of these walls separate EU nations from countries outside the European Union, but some fences are planned between member states – a move that’s against the spirit of the EU, according to the EU’s foreign policy chief.
“Europe was built on the idea that walls have to come down. It was built on the idea of coming together. Of overcoming differences. Of united. Walls are never the solution”, said Federica Mogherini, the EU High Representative, Foreign Affairs.
Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:
More money needs to go to Europe [the European Union in Brussels]. “The Netherlands must be prepared to pay extra money”, says employers’ federation president Hans de Boer. He supports the government’s policy to cut back on, among other things, agricultural spending, but ultimately wants our country to pay more. …
De Boer says in an interview with the NOS that the money is needed for new tasks.
Meaning more neocolonial wars in Africa and elsewhere.
“We have to protect the external borders and prevent more migrants from coming to the EU.” At the same time, money is needed to give the refugees a new future in Africa. … He also wants additional money to compete with China.
According to De Boer, it is time for a new policy. “You can no longer say: I always did this, so in the coming period we will do it just as well: no, there must be maximum austerity.”
So, maximum austerity for education, health care and poor people. But no maximum austerity at all for wars causing refugees and for European Union anti-refugee xenophobia, De Boer says.
‘Giving the refugees a new future in Africa’ in practice means concluding anti-refugee deals with dictators in Africa to have these dictators stop people fleeing from dictatorships and wars. Deals like the European Union anti-refugee deal with Erdogan, the dictator of Turkey (a deal supported by VNO-NCW). Or spending European Union money on armed gangs in Libya giving refugees a ‘new future’ as slaves.
Hans de Boer’s VNO-NCW employers’ federation represents the 1% richest people in the Netherlands.
There was a referendum on the proposed European Union Constitution in 2005, with more than 61 percent of the Dutch voting against.
The Dutch government, the Big Business organisations, and the established political parties campaigned for Giscard d’Estaing’s draft EU constitution.
De Boer’s VNO-NCW then claimed ‘100%’ of its rich members would vote Yes in the referendum. However, that turned out to be not enough, as there were more non-privileged voters voting No.
Ten years later, in 2015, there was again a referendum in the Netherlands. It was about whether the European Union should conclude a treaty with the Ukrainian government of oligarchs, including neonazis. Vote yes, VCO-NCW said again. But, like in 2005, 61% of voters voted against.
From BirdLife today:
We are watching with dismay as the EU prepares its next multi-annual financial framework (MFF). Given that it seems shackled by old systems and strategies which are demonstrated to have failed, we can assert with confidence they won’t work in the future. And nowhere is this more evident than in the largest single EU budget line – the Common Agricultural Policy. Out of its EUR 58 billion pot, most goes to the richest and largest agricultural interests.
An equally devastating corollary to this injustice is that this spending is rapidly destroying biodiversity, in flora and fauna, and failing to deliver any of the environmental benefits and services that an overwhelming majority of the EU population repeatedly says it wants as a priority. Only a pittance, less than 0.3%, is spent on the enormously effective LIFE program which enhances and protects the life-giving system of biodiversity which underpins our survival on the planet.
wow.. so many insoluble problems, but sadly the easiest and maybe most important to solve ( it seems to me) is how to protect our biodiversity and save our planet…and it has the lowest priority…
Indeed Valerie, less than 0.3% is a shame. And Hans de Boer of VNO-NCW will probably say that less than 0.3% should be subjected to more ‘maximum austerity’.
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