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Tipping Point in Europe

Will the Paris attacks legitimize extreme populist politics in the eyes of the EU public?

November 22, 2015

Will the Paris attacks legitimize extreme populist politics in the eyes of the EU public?

ISIS will relentlessly increase its barbaric terror mission against the West.

Reports that some of the Paris attackers found their way to Europe posing as refugees, have moved the idea of linking migration from the troubled Middle East with the risk of increased terrorism in the West from the xenophobic political fringes into the mainstream.

The nations in the European Union are faced with tens of thousands of families from Syria, Iraq and other areas plagued by civil war and ISIS, trying to make their way across the Balkans to a safer and better future.

Countries on the Eastern border of the Union have resorted to building fences to keep refugees out. Meanwhile, the German Chancellor has bravely announced that her country will take in 800,000 people in direct reaction to the crisis and up to one million over time.

As a result, we are witnessing trainloads of Middle Eastern migrants being shepherded into temporary camps across Germany. While Germany is bending over backwards to accommodate this massive influx, displays of gratitude are few and far between.

Some of the travelers would rather complain on TV interviews about how inadequate their accommodations are. Apparently some refugees expect one-bedroom apartments with individual showers.

Failure to protect its own

As Europe is scrambling to find a way to deal with the refugee crisis, the rulers of the Arabian Peninsula are watching the exodus of desperate Arabs into Europe rather than offering help within the region.

The House of Saud even cynically offered to build 100 mosques in Germany to assist with the integration of upward to a million new residents of Muslim faith.

The Arab World is in shambles, not only because of the collapse of the order of nation states as crafted after WWI, but more importantly because (wealthy) Arabs very clearly have no desire of assisting (distressed) Arabs in their own region.

With the exception of Turkey: The natural bridge between the Levant and the Balkans has been inundated with migrants on their way to the desired destinations in Europe.

An experienced tactician, Mr. Erdogan, has successfully negotiated a deal with the EU whereby Turkey will be paid several billions of Euros to assist with keeping as many refugees out of Europe and obtain easier access to the EU for its own citizens with the lifting of certain Visa restrictions.

Germany’s “Willkommenskultur” has the potential to permanently alter the fabric of its citizenry. Simple math demonstrates what this means. If Germany takes in 1 million of refugees from Syria etc., this contingent will initially make up just over 1% of the total 83 million people living in the country now.

This seems manageable at first, but if you consider birth rates, which in the Arab world generally speaking are about double of the rate across Europe, the 1% is likely to become 5% within the span of only a couple of generations. Some of the “traditional” residents may find this somewhat disturbing – and may react strongly.

Integrating into the workforce

To camouflage the demographic challenge, the German government has tried to sell its open door policy as a solution to its systemic labor shortage. But the influx of refugees from the war-torn Levant will do very little in terms of filling gaps in the workforce.

It is questionable whether those immigrants that could work actually have the skills required, or speak the language to fit into the workplace. More likely, most of those who get to stay after their refugee claims have been approved will depend on the public purse for an extended period of time.

The influx of randomly assembled groups of Arab refugees will invariably lead to the Middle Eastern conflict being imported into Europe. Just because Sunnis and Shia, Alawites and Druze, Copts and other Arab minorities are sharing spots on the same “pipeline” from the Middle East does not mean they all of a sudden become a happy family.

Mrs. Merkel was right when stating that the Syrian-Arab refugee crisis will have a significant and lasting impact on the socio-economic fabric in Germany and across the EU.

Beyond that, there is the clear and present risk that the EU will become a second battleground in the fight between the West and ISIS.

It does not take a lot of imagination to realize that what is happening in Europe today will lead to increased political polarization. There are a lot of frustrated, frightened and angry ordinary people in Germany and other parts of Europe that are not impressed with how their governments are managing the current migrant crisis.

Europe may soon reach a tipping point where populist extremist parties with simple solutions to a complex problem start picking up these fears and frustrations and take the fight to the polls.

This will no doubt be the biggest challenge for the European “classe politique” since 1933.


The Arabian Peninsula’s rulers watch the exodus of desperate Arabs without offering local help.

The House of Saud cynically offered to build 100 mosques in Germany, but offered little else.

The Arab World is in shambles & wealthy Arabs show no desire to help distressed Arabs in the region.

Europe may soon see populist extremist parties riding fears & frustrations to the top of the polls.

This will no doubt be the biggest challenge for the European “classe politique” since 1933.