WASHINGTON, April 9, 2016 — The mainstream media ignore the fact that some of Europe’s high-profile, left-wing politicians and their constituents aren’t thrilled about open borders. The anti-refugee and anti-open border position is not owned solely by conservative politicians at home or abroad.
Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico, the Czech Republic’s President Milos Zeman, and Germany’s Thilo Sarrazin—all European Social Democrats with a gift for making waves—have clearly expressed their strong desire to protect the West from refugees who have historically refused to assimilate.
Slovakian Socialist Prime Minister Robert Fico
Robert Fico (SMER-SD) recently won re-election for his third term as prime minister of Slovakia. In spite of leading the Social Democrats, he has been comfortable siding with his more conservative Eastern European partners on immigration, calling the EU’s current immigration policy “ritual suicide” that must be stopped.
His party is stridently anti-immigration and has vowed not to accept a single Muslim immigrant into Slovakia. In March, Fico won re-election and was asked to form a government.
Czech Republic’s Social Democratic President Milos Zeman
The first president to be directly elected in the Czech Republic, Milos Zeman (SPO), was hailed in 2013 as a new socialist president who took his inspiration from Scandinavia.
He claims to be the archetypal Social Democrat, but has stated bluntly that the integration of Muslims in Western society is “practically impossible.” He also has stated publicly that the Muslim Brotherhood plot to control Europe is behind the refugee crisis.
These traits seems to have endeared Zeman to the Czech people. The latest Czech polling in March 2016 found Zeman’s popularity soaring to a 62 percent approval rate.
German Social Democrat Thilo Sarrazin
Thilo Sarrazin (SPD) is a politician, writer and former member of the executive board of the Deutsche Bundesbank. In his 2010 book, Deutschland schafft sich ab (“Germany abolishes itself”), the most popular book on politics by a German-language author in a decade, he denounced the failure of Germany’s post-war immigration policy, sparking a nationwide controversy about the costs and benefits of multiculturalism.
While his book was resonating wildly among Germans, the SPD was trying to get rid of him. Polls suggest, however, that almost half of the German population (including SPD members) agree with Sarrazin’s political views and 18 percent would vote for his party if he started one.
In 2012, he published another book, this time suggesting that the eurozone doesn’t need the euro. In 2014, he wrote one discussing the limits of free speech in Germany. Unfortunately, none of his books are available in English.
While controversial in Germany, Sarrazin’s books may appear rather tame, not only relative to the extent of the immigration crisis that has been imposed on Germany since 2015, but also considering the increasing instability of the Eurozone, and increasing government attempts to stifle opposing arguments in the public sphere.
It is hard to think what really separates the left from the right today, except for their distinctly different views on immigration. Perhaps some day everyone will come around to a unified and defensible position on this crucial issue, and we can get back to arguing about school choice and funding for the arts.