Brussels has been cackling like a hen that has just laid an Easter egg, but the cackling will stop when the egg cracks and a turkey buzzard sticks its red rubbery head through.
In accordance with the agreement that was reached between the European Union and the Turkish government last winter, Greece and the E.U. have begun returning migrants from Greece to Turkey, where the Syrians and Iraqis among them will be allowed to apply for asylum in Europe, while most of the others—Afghans, Pakistanis, and Africans—who are not found to be legitimate refugees will be repatriated. In return, Brussels has agreed to accept one Syrian refugee from Turkey for each migrant returned there, to pay Ankara €6 billion, allow Turks to visit Europe without visas, and expedite Turkey’s lagging application to join the European Union. On April 4, the first 202 migrants, largely Pakistanis and Afghans, were deported from Greece under this arrangement. Also that day, another 59 Syrian migrants landed on the shores of Greece with the aid of the Greek coast guard.
In this transaction, the European Union was taken by President Erdogan like a Western Sunday-school class gone shopping in the Arab souq. The folly of having admitted Turkey to NATO in 1952 has become obvious in the past year, owing in part to Erdogan’s risky security game with Moscow, and the danger of Turkish membership in the union becomes plainer every day as the country draws steadily closer to the Muslim world, and to political Islam. And an agreement that commits Europe to taking any migrants at all, whether they be refugees and asylum seekers or otherwise, is a mistake of historic dimensions. Historically, asylum seekers have been a numerically restricted class; they were even in the 1930’s. But in the new age of great migrations, it is easy to imagine refugee and humanitarian agencies, which have become a recognized industry and are usually backed by the United Nations, insisting that the populations of entire countries qualify as deserving refugee status and admission to the Western countries to which they apply for admission. Moreover, there is no European consensus regarding the distribution of migrants, even the 160,000 asylum seekers Brussels has already agreed in principle to accept, while several countries in the Eastern bloc have refused to take any migrants at all. Finally, the one-bona-fide-Syrian-Iraqi-refugee admitted in exchange for one-Pakistani-Afghani-African returned is a fool’s bargain made in Brussels—at a cost of €6 billion!—when viewed in the most positive light, and it is a potential catastrophe for Europe in the absence of agreed numerical limits. When the implications of this disaster become clear to the German, the French, the Italian, the Spanish, the Scandinavian, the Hungarian, the Polish peoples, and the rest of them, the Brussels hen will seem a candidate for beheading, plucking, and roasting on an internationally declared pan-Continental feast day.