How do you get the European Union to recognize outside intruders as illegal aliens? Play the COVID game. Just ask the Lithuanians. Otherwise, as far as the pandemic, it is business as usual, oscillating between lockdowns and protests throughout the Old Continent, which we shall look at shortly. First, let us address the Baltics.
Lithuania’s main challenge stems from its easternmost location (along with Latvia and Estonia) on the EU border. That means dealing with Russia and Belarus. While Moscow has recently kept a rather low profile vis-à-vis Vilnius, Minsk has roared consistently at its EU neighbor.
There are several serious bones of contention between both nations. The most important are Lithuania’s fear of the Belarusian dilapidated nuclear facilities and Russian military installations implanted there, on the one hand. Belarus hates the Lithuanian support for Belarusian dissidents, on the other.
While Vilnius can only express its objections to a Soviet-made nuclear plant and post-Soviet military bases, the Lithuanians have enabled the non-violent freedom fighters in a variety of ways, including through supporting – together with Poland – free Belarusian media (traditional and social) beaming its message out of the Republic of Lithuania.
Aleksandr “Daddy” Lukashenka tends to be proactive; he snatched a dissident from a plane; he also retaliates for the Lithuanian actions by emulating Turkey, Morocco, and Libya. Whenever the North African and Middle Eastern states want concessions out of the EU, they turn on the spigot with illegal aliens, and a wave upon wave of Third World migrants descends upon Europe.
The Minsk dictator has taken a leaf from their book and turned on a green light for whatever foreigners reached Belarus with the hopes of crossing into the EU. In the past three months, over 3,000 persons crossed illicitly into Lithuania. By our standards, it does not sound like a big deal, but by tiny Lithuania’s reckoning, it certainly is. And Lukashenka knows it.
Incidentally, this year alone, Hungary has so far fended off 54,000 illegals crossing into the Magyar nation by immediately deporting them back to where they came from. That triggered howls of accusations of “intolerance” and “discrimination” from the usual suspects in the EU and the U.S. However, when the Lithuanians complained about their intruders expedited from Belarus, Brussels actually neither called them “refugees” nor disputed their illegal status.
What gives? Of course, the Eurocrats loathe democratically elected prime minister Viktor Orban of Hungary, who has consistently protected his country’s borders. Thus, they are quick to criticize the habitually defiant Magyars.
However, the Lithuanians have played by the EU rules. They did not deport the intruders. Instead, they have placed most of them into camps. Parenthetically, when the government wanted to park a thousand migrants in a tiny hamlet of five hundred people, uniformly of Lithuania’s Polish minority, the locals vowed marches and other acts of public disobedience, so the officials backed off.
Next, Vilnius quietly built a frontier fence. Then, it proclaimed the border zone and the areas where the illegal visitors were placed a COVID danger zone, and it imposed appropriately stringent pandemic restrictions. Brussels liked it and made no usual warm-fuzzy noises toward the arrivals. Instead, it treated the incursion for what it was: Minsk’s brazen interference with the EU’s borders and the social peace of Lithuania.
If the EU took the same approach as far as Greece, Italy, and Spain were concerned, that would be a first step to address the migrant crisis. If only Brussels supported Copenhagen’s effort to return the visitors to their home countries, Syria in particular, based on solid evidence that the worst is over, and one should head back home. Instead, as the EU center benevolently looks on, Denmark braces itself for a bevy of lawsuits by progressive NGOs who endeavor to block the Danish – eminently reasonable and democratically sanctioned – move. No logic there.
The same goes for the COVID pandemic in Europe. It continues to be managed in a hectic manner from the top and by most national governments who are in tune with Brussels or take a cue from there, both in and out of the EU. Controversies chiefly involve lockdowns, pandemic “apartheid,” and COVID passports. Here are a handful of examples.
After its socially Darwinistic early policies led to the serious excess deaths among the old, sick, and other vulnerable, Sweden enjoys a mask-free existence and manageable infection rates. It is not so rosy anywhere else.
Latvia requires all teachers and health workers to undergo vaccination. Portugal has imposed a police curfew to thwart the pandemic, while foreign visitors were asked to go home by their governments (e.g. Berlin). One is barred from traveling to Malta unless one is vaccinated. Having inoculated its own citizens, Croatia proposes now to jab international tourists. Czechia has eased up on most restrictions, but one must have a COVID passport to go out dancing.
Without such a passport, one cannot ride a train or eat at a restaurant in Italy, Greece, and France. This prompted the burning of the French vaccination centers and mass demonstrations. People also took to the streets in Germany to object to further COVID-driven restrictions. Violence ensued. As in elsewhere in Europe, the Germans chant against the pandemic “apartheid.” According to Irish ice hockey star Niall McEvoy, “Ireland is now, officially, a Medical apartheid/Fascist State in line with the wider global control grid.”
Outside the EU, Great Britain spiked with infections earlier this summer, which led first to lockdowns and then to relaxing the pandemic regime because the death rate was rather low. In Russia, COVID has spread ferociously, and there was a significant uptick in fatalities. Israel boasted of the highest rate of vaccinations, but the pandemic returned. The answer was to deploy a third wave of injections and to inoculate little children. Many Israelis object to the passport regime.
Everywhere, the police enforce a strict separation, anti-pandemic regime as far as native Europeans are concerned. Some others can get away with flaunting the rules. When 450 migrants went on hunger strike in Belgium, it nearly led to a collapse of the coalition government. The police did not molest the strikers, and the left part of the coalition forced the rest into granting concessions to them. Break the law at many levels, and you will be awarded legal residency.
We can learn how to deal with that from the Lithuanians, although it would be best to emulate the Hungarians.
Marek Jan Chodakiewicz
Washington, D.C., 6 August 2021
A version of this article was posted by Newsmax.