Tough Hungary was right about the migrant crisis

Tough Hungary was right about the migrant crisis, by Roger Boyles.

Imagine, then, what it feels like to live on the Italian island of Lampedusa, to have welcomed with aching hearts the thousands of refugees who washed up on its shores after the 2011 Arab uprisings, and to have shared the meagre infrastructure, so poor that pregnant locals have to take the long ferry ride to Sicily for a check-up. …

Now the Lampedusans have turfed out their mayor Giusi Nicolini who, decked with international prizes, had joined Angela Merkel as the champion of an open, liberal Europe. The locals want a mayor who will say to the world that the island can no longer cope; that Merkel’s “welcome culture” no longer works for them. …

Last year 181,436 migrants took the central Mediterranean route, up 18 per cent on the epic figures of 2015. This year is shaping up to be just as high. …

It has been two years since Merkel announced her Willkommenskultur and Europe is still groping around for a solution. Centrist parties, in the absence of a coherent multinational policy, are adopting the tough lines once advocated by the pariah parties of the far right. …

Suddenly, it seems as if the Hungarian model for dealing with immigration — widely condemned as a violation of civilised European values — was ahead of its time. …

“I do not want to see the country drifting towards a situation where lower-skilled work would only be carried out by foreigners,” [Viktor Orban, Hungary’s prime minister] says. “We ourselves have to do the work required to keep our economy going, from scrubbing toilets to nuclear science.” … Orban’s point: if open immigration leads to an underclass of foreigners then it ends up sapping national dignity.

The establishment consensus is now crumbling, as they gradually bow to realism. They say that everyone is a conservative in areas of life that they personally know well — because experience and knowledge win out. The leftist propensity to change, and of proposing crazy new schemes, mainly appeals to people who don’t know much about the topic.

hat-tip Stephen Neil