Open Arms and the Refugee Crisis: The Legal Slave Trade of NGOs

Eder Peña
The African refugee crisis in Europe is wreaking havoc on humanity (Photo: Archive)

In the midst of a phenomenon such as depopulation, a product of the neoliberal architecture that financial elites have imposed on the European Union (EU), the role of international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) dedicated to the rescue of migrants in the Mediterranean Sea is under discussion by some analysts.

As police and security forces struggle to keep at bay the waves of migrants fleeing hunger and war in Africa, a demographic crisis is developing across the continent. Europe needs more and more young people to manage its health services, populate its rural areas and care for its elderly because, increasingly, its societies are no longer self-sufficient.

According to data published by the World Bank, between 1991 and 2017, no more than 19 countries experienced a period of population decline. All of them, except Puerto Rico, were located in Europe.

Depopulation in numbers

The demographic issue, whose symptom is the so-called depopulation, is a more than urgent challenge, countries like Germany have to solve it in the coming decades, but will not be able to achieve it through migration alone.

Unless its levels of immigration increase, Europe will lose population over the next few decades, while the rest of the continents will continue to grow at least until the middle of the century, according to data presented by the United Nations (UN).

It is currently estimated that the planet has about 7,550 billion inhabitants, this figure will increase to 8,551 billion in 2030, could exceed 9,800 billion in 2050 and reach almost 11,200 billion in 2100.

However, estimates offered by the Director of Population of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, John Wilmoth, indicate that the European population will fall from 742 million to 739 million by 2030, in a progression that contrasts with that of the world as a whole.

By 2050, the continent will have about 716 million inhabitants and by 2100, when the margin of error is much wider, it would fall to 653 million.

The UN official points out that immigration to developed countries peaked in the period 2005-2010 and has fallen between 2010 and 2015, with a net balance of 3.2 million per year of increase in the rich nations as a whole and that the developed countries that gained more inhabitants thanks to immigration in those years were the United States, Germany and Saudi Arabia.

Unless there are major changes, population movements will not be able to compensate for the reduction in the number of inhabitants that will occur in regions with lower fertility rates, especially in Europe, which in recent years has been the only continent where this rate has increased and which will maintain this slight advance for decades, still has the lowest number of children per woman, with 1.6 currently. Mediterranean Sea has become an open-air marine cemetery (Photo: Archive)

Cities and suburban municipalities recorded an increase in population in almost all countries, especially in Eastern Europe they are the only growing regions. In the Baltic countries and Bulgaria, growth is concentrated in the capital regions.

In the case of Spain, where 90% of the Spanish population is concentrated in 30% of the territory and there is an average of 1.27 children per woman of childbearing age compared to the EU average of 1.55, MEP Paloma López concluded in 2017 that “Community policies, after Spain’s incorporation into the European common market in 1986, have also failed to address this issue with success and energy”.

In the European division of labour, Spain had to empty its rural areas as there were no successive generations to find there any opportunity to “insert” in the globalized Europe, this because the money from European funds has flowed more for large estates than for small farmers.

Migration as a form of power

The number of seats in the European Parliament is distributed among the EU states according to their population or the so-called “degressive proportionality” approach. Any demographic change will immediately affect the number of seats a country can occupy in the European Parliament, especially in a situation where the population will increase in some states, while others will “depopulate”.

Population growth is expected in small states such as Ireland, Sweden and Switzerland, followed by moderate growth in France which will have a larger population than any other major European state while Germany, Italy and Spain will experience a period of depopulation in the next four decades.

It is known that the demographic figures are influenced by a large number of different factors, such as internal social policies, the migration factor remains very unpredictable, nobody expected a migration boom in Germany in recent years that resulted in a small increase in the population that managed to reverse for a short time the trend of depopulation.

Even though Germany is doing all it can to remain a leading EU state, it is obliged to cede its leadership positions to France due to changes in the demographic balance between states. Germany does not have the human labour force to achieve its global ambitions, for which it has taken the path of attracting migratory flows by bringing to record levels the number of German residents of foreign origin.

The Federal Statistical Office of Germany reported that in 2016 18.6 million men, women and children of migrant origin lived in the country, 52% of them German passport holders. In 2017, the number of people with foreign roots living in Germany grew by an additional 8.5%.

It is very likely that within a few years, native Europeans will constitute an absolute minority in most European countries. As much as the EU tries to keep its borders closed in the face of new waves of migration, Europe will remain a land that attracts virtually all residents of Africa and the Middle East to escape the war or persecution that the Global North itself provokes, while seeking economic prosperity.

In addition, because of their centuries-old religious beliefs and traditions, Muslims will give birth to more children.

What is Europe looking towards?

In 2013, Italy created an Italian Navy lifesaving device called Mare Nostrum, its purpose was to help people at sea which, according to the Ministry of the Interior, saved more than 100,000 people in one year. After a series of budget cuts and name changes, the operation ended and the Italian Navy focused on surveillance, leading to an increase in deaths.

Italy closed its ports to NGO boats with people rescued when an anti-immigrant right-wing government arrived. To make it effective, a law was passed imposing fines of up to 1 million euros (1.12 million dollars) on vessels entering Italian waters without authorization. The initiative of the Italian Minister of the Interior, Matteo Salvini, forces the confiscation of the ships and prescribes the arrest of any captai who refuses to obey the order not to enter.

Malta, for its part, has pointed out that it lacks the capacity to receive the rescued, while the Spanish authorities have evaded the responsibility of receiving the refugees.

The Spanish Finance Minister, María de Jesús Montero, said that “the most sensible thing is for (Open Arms) to go to the safest nearby port, which is on the Italian coast”. She added that refugees cannot be considered the exclusive responsibility of Spain. The EU should be the one that “distributes later to these people,” she said.

The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, said that he is in contact with EU member states “to explore solutions”. Arms members rescue migrant in the Mediterranean Sea (Photo: Pau Barrena / AFP)

Oenegism and its “humanitarian work” on the sidelines

According to Grete Mautner in New Eastern Outlook, the authorities of different states have discovered that criminal networks charge ten thousand US dollars per person transported in a small boat not suitable for long sea voyages. African immigrants arrive in Libya to be transported to Europe, and it has also been determined that NGO vessels usually patrol the area tens of miles from the Libyan coast.

He adds that the mechanism consists of sending light and radio signals to warn smugglers to place migrants in rubber boats so that the latter immediately become endangered people at sea, with the maritime law obliging NGO boats to pick them up.

  • He speaks of the mind-boggling budgets that put some of these NGOs on the dock:
  • The famous Sea Watch has a budget of one and a half million euros.
  • MOAS, the largest and most active, has a budget of 6 million euros.
  • The two ships and drones operated by Sea Eye only cost half a million euros.
  • Open Arms has a budget of 2.5 million euros, its ship has been sailing on the high seas for 12 days with 151 people on board rescued off the coast of Libya, without receiving permission to dock from the governments of Italy, Malta and Spain.
  • SOS Mediterranee, a French NGO with a budget of at least 4 million euros, chartered the ship Ocean Viking, Norwegian flag with the also French Doctors without Borders, has just over a week with 356 refugees on board, no government has granted permission to arrive.

The financial elites, including the famous billionaire George Soros, are the main sponsors of such NGOs which are accused of trying to weaken Europe by tacitly promoting destabilisation and chaos. The fact that most migrants will feel a moral obligation to defend the demands of these NGOs when they are “rescued” is being challenged in European politics.

Beyond that, the globalising ideological objective that envisions a world without borders or nations in which there is no culture, no language, no skin colours, no people defending their identity is questioned. They do not need Germans, Swedes, Greeks, Hungarians, but consumption and consumers.