Victor Marakhovsky, a Riga-born Russian journalist, shares his views about the Baltic “tragedy” – Brussels trying to send refugees from Africa and Middle East to Baltic States – with Imhoclub Latvian news website. In particular, Marakhovsky addresses this week’s big anti-immigration rally in Riga. It is noteworthy that the people protesting against giving asylum to migrants, once protested against “predominance” of “Russian occupants” in the region.
“According to international media,” Marakhovsky writes, “it has become known suddenly why so many Syrian refugees rush from Turkey: ‘Since the beginning of the war, 2 million refugees fled to Turkey. That country has already spent 6 billion dollars to give shelter to them. EU did not want to help. They have provided only 418 million dollars since the beginning of the conflict. Only 300,000 out of 2 million refugees are in refugee camps in Turkey, the others manage their existence barely. The refugee flows sparked housing price hike and created tense situation on the labor market. As economic growth has slackened to 3% this year – Turkey considers it as a start of recession – and Europe stays indifferent to the problem of refugees, Erdogan’s government stopped creating obstacles to the refugee rush to Europe.’ Now EU appears to have realized the situation and promises to provide Turkey 1 billion EUR. Yet, this will hardly stop the migration wave – people got wind of the refugees that received asylum in Germany,” Marakhovsky wrote.
“…Meantime, in the ‘swept out’ capital of the ‘Baltic Tiger’ Latvia, as many as 1.5 thousand people took the streets (to assess the scale of the crowd, one should fund out how many people have remained in the country). There is surprisingly high number of young protesters – nearly every 5th! (to assess the scale of the young crowd, one should fund out how many young people have remained in the country). I feel obliged to cite one of them: ‘I am a teacher and I spent much time in Vienna and England. It was ten years ago. What I saw there really shocked me. What is happening here on the borders of Europe is terrible. I do not think that those who gathered there really fled war. I realize what we are doing here and I do not want to let another occupation happen,’ an elderly lady Ilse said with tears in her eyes. One should not think that only elderly people marched through Riga. There were many young people among them.
For instance, Igor Lukianovs, AKA ‘party-bum’ (1967) said NATO should use all refugees as soldiers in the war against Russia: ‘War, the Black!’ – he was chanting and carrying a poster of the same content. All the protesters openly said they do not want to see refugees in their country. Much less they want to see them receiving state benefits higher than the state pensions, payments to teachers and maternity pays,” the expert recalled.
“Here are some explanations. The elderly teacher Ilse with tears in her eyes obviously worked in Vienna and England not as a teacher. She spent several years washing dishes in a European facility dreaming of better life,” Marakhovsky writes. “It was twenty five years ago when young Ilse rallied with the People’s Front with then romantic heart. Everyone was convinced then that ‘occupants’ will leave and the food deficit will end and apartments will be freed. The industry poisoning nature will be closed and, like before the WII, Latvia will be feeding Europe with milk, dairy products, pork and beef. People will be living in large apartments and raising many children,” Marakhovsky writes.
“Reality is different. The apartments are free now, shops are filled with food, but people have no money and many have left the country,” the expert writes.
According to him, the citizens that still remain in the Baltic Tigers have one true ideology - to survive. Europe sent the first lot of 500 poor refugees to the “Baltic Tiger.” The Government that comprises just nationalist politicians – they have even raised a fence on the border with Russia not to let migrants – says nothing. “Meantime Ilse and others cry out ‘We do not want new occupation. Let these Black fight against Russia!’ Who will hear them? They are even less then the Syrian migrants in Turkey. It is very sad to find out suddenly that you no longer exist,” Marakhovsky says for conclusion.