EURO-Balkan EU breaks down and yet wants to grow bigger

A comment by Uli Gellermann.

They have once again postponed it, the EU heads of state and government, but at the Western Balkans summit in May 2020 it is finally to be successfully put on the agenda: the entry of Albania and Northern Macedonia is being called for in standardised media as if the two countries were the Eldorado of modern times and Jean-Claude Juncker the Pizarro of our days. Should the two poorhouses replace the rich but fleeing England?

The unemployment rate in northern Macedonia is estimated at 23.7 percent in 2017 and is probably higher. The only thriving industry is corruption. The national debt is 4.0 billion US dollars and the wounds of the civil war at the beginning of 2001 have hardly healed. In Albania, the situation is hardly any better: the unemployment rate officially stood at 17.9 percent in 2014. The country’s foreign debt amounts to 8.437 billion US dollars. Only drug trafficking and crime are booming: The US Ambassador to Albania, Donald Lu, knew of four major clans in the country that control 20 families in a wide range of criminal activities. The HANDELSBLATT calls Albania “Europe’s Colombia”.

There are neither concrete economic reasons for EU enlargement nor a new option in EU immigration policy. For quite a few of the beggars on the streets of Western Europe come from precisely those states which an unconscious mainstream would so like to receive, although everyone who is in his right mind knows: poor countries and people are better helped at the source of poverty, not through emigration. But the know-it-all SPIEGEL gives an answer to the question of WHY the admissions are being pushed: “The EU also wants to counteract the growing influence of Russia and China in the region with a new attempt at enlargement in the Western Balkans”.

The well-known, evil Geostrategy is the engine of EU enlargement. Although Albania became a NATO member in April 2009 and the former Yugoslav Republic of Northern Macedonia is likely to become the 30th NATO member by 2020 at the latest, one thing is certain. For in the files of the West it is noted that the republic within Yugoslavia, which was fought for by the Federation of Communists of Macedonia, existed until 1991. There was, of course, a Russian, a Soviet influence for a time. And in the one-time socialist Albania there were strong Chinese influences. Today the Chinese have acquired the concession for the airport of Tirana. They are planning to expand the port and are building a new road to Macedonia for 200 million euros. The People’s Republic is now Albania’s second largest trading partner.

The German feuilleton provides a shrill accompaniment to the Balkan debate with a discussion about the Nobel Prize for Literature for Peter Handke. In the SPIEGEL, the writer is given the headline “This blatant coexistence of work and shit” and the “taz” notes “An uncivilized election”. The feuilleton has long since been GREEN and the warring role of Foreign Minister Fischer and his epigones has to be kept quiet until today. Handke’s clear words disturb considerably the picture: “You can cheat most and earn most with pictures and words”, the writer knew about the enthusiastic media during the war in Yugoslavia. And when he declared on the bomb attacks on Yugoslavia, alluding to the Auschwitz assertions of the Fischers and Scharpings, “At that time they were gas taps and neck gun chambers; today they are computer killers from 5,000 meters above sea level,” he urgently had to be made the reviled outsider of the literary business.

Western strategists are still looking for apron states for a war with Russia, for landing sites and deployment areas. It doesn’t matter that the Soviet Union has long since disappeared and its successor state is not socialist. China’s transformation into a market economy with state elements also seems to have bypassed the ideologists in the think tanks of the West: The old prejudice can be used too well in the new competitive situation. To mobilize for a EURO-Balkan that benefits neither the peoples of the Balkans nor those of Western Europe.

Picture source: Botond Horvath/shutterstock


This article was published on 21 October 2019 on the Rationalgalerie blog.


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