Facebook with Latestnigeriannews  Twieet with latestnigeriannews  RSS Page Feed
Home  |  All Headlines  |  Punch  |  Thisday  |  Daily Sun  |  Vanguard   |  Guardian  |  The Nation  |  Daily Times  |  Daily Trust  |  Daily Independent
World  |  Sports  |  Technology  |  Entertainment  |  Business  |  Politics  |  Tribune  |  Leadership  |  National Mirror  |  BusinessDay  |  More Channels...

Viewing Mode:


  1.     Tool Tips    
  2.    Collapsible   
  3.    Collapsed     
Click to view all Entertainment headlines today

Click to view all Sports headlines today

Politics, culture wars cloud migrant debate in central Europe

Published by Business Insider on Thu, 24 Sep 2015

By Justyna PawlakWARSAW (Reuters) - Ahead of Wednesday's emergency European Union summit to tackle a mounting migration crisis, conservative media in Poland made a last-minute push to rally public opinion against accepting refugees fleeing war in the Middle East.While Germany's Der Spiegel magazine depicted Chancellor Angela Merkel on its cover as "Mother Angela", ministering to refugees, a conservative Polish weekly, wSieci, dressed center-right Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz in a burqa holding explosives."Ewa Kopacz will follow Germany's orders and ensure we live in hell," the headline screamed.For the nationalist right-wing opposition, seeking to win a general election next month, the refugee crisis may be an opportunity to tap into deep-seated distrust of foreigners to take power from the ruling coalition.Similar sentiment has come to the surface throughout central and eastern Europe. Efforts by the European Union to distribute some 120,000 mostly-Muslim asylum seekers within the 28-nation bloc have been met with anxiety over a possible impact of migrants on the region's overwhelmingly homogenous societies.Central European countries should have the right to remain "monocultural societies", said Gyorgy Schopflin, a Hungarian member of the European Parliament who was himself a refugee in Britain for 50 years during communist rule in Budapest.The Brussels plan has also touched a raw nerve in ex-communist societies long forced to take orders from their Soviet masters, fanning fears of being bullied and misunderstood by older, western EU member states."The average citizen lacks basic understanding of what it means to be different," said Konstanty Gebert, an expert with the European Council on Foreign Relations think-tank."Homogeneity is seen as a value, and this is difficult to understand in the West."Diplomats say opposition led by Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Poland to a plan to agree relocation quotas for asylum seekers may be cracking.Warsaw may accept as many as 80 percent of the 12,000 people it is being asked to take in by the executive European Commission, they say, a rise from 2,000 talked about earlier.In return, EU partners were considering an "emergency brake" that those countries could activate in case of a sudden surge.Any turnaround would likely be a result of last-minute bargaining in Brussels than a change of heart.HISTORICAL BAGGAGEElection politics has been crucial in stoking anti-immigrant sentiments in Poland and probably Slovakia, where leftist Prime Minister Robert Fico - a staunch opponent of migrant relocation quotas - faces an election in March."Most people don't know anything about refugees whom they see as a homogenous mass. Politicians and elites failed to calm the situation, instead fuelling people's fear of the unknown," said Elena Kriglerova, head of Bratislava-based Center for Research of Ethnicity and Culture.In Poland, opposition politicians have stepped up anti-immigrant rhetoric in the run-up to Wednesday's summit.Ex-premier Jaroslaw Kaczynski, whose Law and Justice (PiS) party leads opinion polls ahead of the Oct. 25 vote, told parliament that by opening its doors to foreigners, Poland, an overwhelmingly Catholic country, risked losing its national character.This was evident in countries which accept large numbers of migrants, such as Sweden, where he said Islamic sharia laws were dominant in many areas. In Italy, Kaczynski said, "occupied churches were being used, occasionally, as toilets"."Do you want this in Poland, do you want to stop being masters of our own country'" he asked deputies.Polling has yet to show any impact from the migration debate on PiS's popularity. But in Hungary, public support for the ruling right-wing Fidesz party has surged in recent months, probably due to its tough clampdown on mass migration, a survey showed this week.Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government has fenced off its border with Serbia to keep out migrants and is building a similar 3.5-metre-high steel barrier on the Croatian border.The sense of national identity defined by a lack of diversity in central and eastern Europe has a short history. It dates back to the two world wars which led to a re-drawing of borders and mass expulsions, the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian empire and the Nazi Holocaust which wiped out six million Jews.But it resonates strongly. Several Polish media sites have disabled online comment on articles about the migration crisis, arguing that the debate was damagingly xenophobic.Poland lacks any sizeable minorities and is overwhelmingly Catholic. In the 1930s only two thirds of Poles were Catholic."Before World War Two speaking in foreign languages was commonplace. You spoke in a different language with a Hungarian horse trader, a Jewish innkeeper or a Ukrainian peasant," said the ECFR's Gebert. "That changed radically after the war."(Additonal reporting by Tatiana Jancarikova in Slovakia, Jan Lopatka in Prague, Wiktor Szary in Warsaw; Editing by Paul Taylor)Join the conversation about this story
Click here to read full news..

All Channels Nigerian Dailies: Punch  |  Vanguard   |  The Nation  |  Thisday  |  Daily Sun  |  Guardian  |  Daily Times  |  Daily Trust  |  Daily Independent  |   The Herald  |  Tribune  |  Leadership  |  National Mirror  |  BusinessDay  |  New Telegraph  |  Peoples Daily  |  Blueprint  |  Nigerian Pilot  |  Sahara Reporters  |  Premium Times  |  The Cable  |  PM News  |  APO Africa Newsroom

Categories Today: World  |  Sports  |  Technology  |  Entertainment  |  Business  |  Politics  |  Columns  |  All Headlines Today

Entertainment (Local): Linda Ikeji  |  Bella Naija  |  Tori  |  Pulse  |  The NET  |  DailyPost  |  Information Nigeria  |  Gistlover  |  Lailas Blog  |  Miss Petite  |  Olufamous  |  Stella Dimoko Korkus Blog  |  Ynaija  |  All Entertainment News Today

Entertainment (World): TMZ  |  Daily Mail  |  Huffington Post

Sports: Goal  |  African Football  |  Bleacher Report  |  FTBpro  |  Kickoff  |  All Sports Headlines Today

Business & Finance: Nairametrics  |  Nigerian Tenders  |  Business Insider  |  Forbes  |  Entrepreneur  |  The Economist  |  BusinessTech  |  Financial Watch  |  BusinessDay  |  All Business News Headlines Today

Technology (Local): Techpoint  |  TechMoran  |  TechCity  |  Innovation Village  |  IT News Africa  |  Technology Times  |  Technext  |  Techcabal  |  All Technology News Headlines Today

Technology (World): Techcrunch  |  Techmeme  |  Slashdot  |  Wired  |  Hackers News  |  Engadget  |  Pocket Lint  |  The Verge

International Networks:   |  CNN  |  BBC  |  Al Jazeera  |  Yahoo

Forum:   |  Nairaland  |  Naij

Other Links: Home   |  Nigerian Jobs