October 21, 2005


Europe's great migration (Thomas Fuller, OCTOBER 21, 2005, International Herald Tribune)

Poles, Lithuanians, Latvians and other Easterners are arriving at an average rate of 16,000 a month, a result of Britain's decision to allow unlimited access to the citizens of the eight East European countries that joined the EU last year.

They work as bus drivers, farmhands and dentists, as waitresses, builders, and saleswomen; they are transforming parts of London into Slavic and Baltic enclaves where pickles and Polish beer are stacked in delicatessens and Polish can be heard on the streets almost as often as English.

But the doomsayers were also wrong: Multicultural Britain has absorbed these workers like a sponge. Unemployment is still rock-bottom at 4.7 percent, and economic growth continues apace.

Since May 2004, more than 230,000 East Europeans have registered to work in Britain, many more than the government expected, in what is shaping up to be one of the great migrations of recent decades.

Yet the government says it still has shortages of 600,000 workers in fields like nursing and construction.

"They are coming in and making a very good reputation as highly skilled, highly motivated workers," said Christopher Thompson, a diplomat at the British Embassy in Warsaw. "The U.K. is pleased with the way it's progressed over the first 16 months, and we're confident it will be a beneficial relationship for both sides in the future."

Tens of thousands of East Europeans have also moved to Ireland and Sweden, the only other West European countries that opened their labor markets to the new EU members.

With nearly full employment, Ireland's booming economy still needs workers, and immigration is actively encouraged. [...]

Fearing a massive influx of East Europeans after enlargement, other West European countries threw up barriers that will be lowered only gradually over the next decade. A Pole seeking to work in France, for example, still needs to apply for a work permit. France issued 737 such permits to Poles in the 10 months after enlargement; that is the number of Poles who arrive in Britain every two days.

Poles who go to Britain, in contrast, do not need any special permission.

In fact, Britain is so eager to recruit more Poles, by far the largest group of entrants since May last year, that British embassy officials in Warsaw have distributed brochures at Polish unemployment offices "so that if people wanted to go to the United Kingdom they had good information," Thompson said.

Hardly a coincidence that Ireland and Britain boom while the continent dies.

German Sick Man of Europe Still Unwell (De Spiegel, 10/21/05)

Everyone knows the German economy has been struggling in recent years. On Thursday, leading economists said the struggle will continue. Growth predictions were revised downward by the country's six leading economic institutes and on Friday, the German government officially followed suit. What can be done?

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 21, 2005 8:36 AM

I don't think Tancredo is worried about being
inundated by Poles.

Posted by: J.H. at October 21, 2005 8:56 AM

Note that "Poles, Lithuanians, Latvians and other Easterners" are not Mulsim.

I'm jus' sayin'...

Posted by: Joe Smith at October 21, 2005 9:09 AM

Yes, there's no meaningful difference between Poles and Latinos, so it does get us down to mere skin tone.

Posted by: oj at October 21, 2005 11:19 AM

The immigration that you have praised is legal. Tancredo is not opposed to immigration, only illegal immigration. I assume that you would agree that if one is opposed to unauthoritize withdrawals from banks, e.g. bank robbery, he is not opposed to one being allowed to make a withdrawal from his own account.

I am looking forward to camping out in your yard sometime.

Posted by: George at October 21, 2005 2:27 PM

If that were true, then Tancredo would have no problem making more immigration legal.

Posted by: Timothy at October 21, 2005 2:48 PM

Tancredo has presented legislation to allow "legal" immigration of 300,000 per year. That's "more" than zero. Seems like a good number to me.

Posted by: h-man at October 21, 2005 3:48 PM


That's not even enough for a little country like Britain. By all means make the immigrants go through a legal process, but there ought be no numerical limit.

Posted by: oj at October 21, 2005 3:51 PM

yeah, when I googled that at his website I thought it was a touch low. Regardless I still think America should be picky as to who we let in.

Posted by: h-man at October 21, 2005 4:13 PM

If we had been none of us would be here.

Posted by: oj at October 21, 2005 4:24 PM

what you mean "we", white man ?

Posted by: ward churchill at October 21, 2005 5:27 PM

The Clovis were murdered first.

Posted by: oj at October 21, 2005 5:36 PM

them clovis is good eatin'

Posted by: ward churchill at October 22, 2005 8:23 AM