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Cologne attacks push Europe into right-wing radicals’ hands

January 11, 16:56 UTC+3 Alexandrova Lyudmila
Right-wing demonstrators marching in Cologne, Germany

Right-wing demonstrators marching in Cologne, Germany

© AP Photo/Juergen Schwarz

MOSCOW, January 11. /TASS/. Migrant crisis in Europe is close to the boiling point, and it is anyone’s guess how best to resolve the problem, Russian experts say about New Year attacks and unrest in Cologne and other German cities. It goes without saying that a harder line will have to be taken towards the migrants. All of the latest developments have created prerequisites for drastic change in the state of the public mind and the general political situation in Europe, such as soaring popularity of right-wing radicals.

Mass rioting on New Year’s eve in Cologne, Hamburg, and Stuttgart, staged by Arab and North African immigrants, who were harassing and raping German women, as well as the authorities’ attempts to play down the affair as long as they could have sparked public anger. Demonstrations in protest against federal Chancellor Angela Merkel’s migration policies have followed.

"Europe’s policies have certainly developed a rightward turn," Professor Andrey Manoilo, of the Moscow State University’s political sciences department, has told TASS. "Firstly, the ruling political elites have begun to turn to the right. Secondly, ultra-right radicals have emerged in the limelight to have accused the authorities of inactivity and inability to defend their citizens. Also, they have been calling on the public at large to present a common front against the migrants. All governments are under the strongest pressure from the radicals in both Western and Central Europe."

The governments have been turning right, but very smoothly, Monoilo believes.

"The way Merkel has reacted to the unrest in Cologne indicates she is very cautious not to provoke migrants into something worse, because they are already a united, well-organized force. Merkel will be simulating tighter measures against this threat, hoping to get to the end of her term somehow. I believe Merkel won’t be elected again. The migrant issue will put ‘paid’ to her career. This explains why her response to this threat is so sluggish."

When migrants settled down in large cities, they were quick to unite to create their own social organizations and elect their leaders, Manoilo said. "As soon as they realized their real strength, the migrants put the authorities to test. It is very likely it is ethnic crime rings’ leaders that coordinate the unrest, but it should not be ruled out that emissaries from terrorist organizations, such as the Islamic State, supervise the rioting from the top.

Manoilo is sure that at a certain point there will emerge political parties that will be contesting power under radical Islamist slogans. In response, the ultra-radicals will gain strength to recapture power from the Socialists and multiculturalists. "Europe’s population will eventually find itself faced with a dilemma: either to support the migrants and their Islamist slogans or the ultra-radicals, including neo-Nazis."

"Europe’s future looks really sad," he warned. "It is completely split in the face of this threat, while the those who pose the threat - the migrants - are united."

"The events in Cologne have sounded a very alarming message," the director of the Migration Policy Studies Centre at the presidential academy RANEPA, Viktoria Ledeneva, has told TASS. "I can see no way out of this situation other than the adoption of the harshest measures towards the migrants: deportation of all those who violate the law. Society is stopping to be tolerant. If the government fails to take tough measures to keep the situation under control, there may follow social unrest, popular anger and more tensions."

"Multi-culturalism in Europe has fallen through with a crash. The second and third generations of migrants still prefer to live within their ethnic enclaves, speak their mother tongue and remain defiant of the European culture," Ledeneva said.

She recalled the way the ethnic balance theory works.

"In a situation where 5% percent of migrants are present within a certain territory, the indigenous residents may get annoyed. If the migrants’ share is as high as 25%, the locals begin to pack their bags and leave," she explained.

If the authorities do nothing about that, the internal political situation in Europe is bound to get worse and the ultra-right radicals will emerge in the forefront.

"It’s going to be a very different Europe," Ledeneva said.

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