Sunday, 27 September 2015

Borderline anger: Croatia and Serbia tensions rise over migrant crisis

The Two Migrations brilliantly explained by Thai based cartoonist Arcadio Esquivel. Published at the Cartoon movement page. 

Tensions are rising between Serbia and Croatia over the border shuffling of migrants and refugees. Serbia has been patient with helping migrants and refugee families cross into neighboring countries such as Hungary and Croatia. Both countries are dismayed and angered with the Serbian government's lax attitude and calm. Hungary is on the verge locking itself up in its own created barbwire fortress as the Hungarian government buildings border walls along its border with Serbia, Croatia and threatens to build another border fence between itself and Bulgaria. If migrants are somehow able to get to through Slovenia into Austria, Hungary will most likely complete its border fortress. Hungarians appear to be taking a page from Israel's paranoia toward its Islamic and Christian neighbors in the Middle East. The media's stawman terrorist and ISIS has all but scared Israel and right wing European politicians into regarding every migrant and refugee as an ISIS affilate or as a threat to national security. The flood of migrants coming through Greece and Italy is still continuing. Libya has rescued over 4,500 exhausted people from the Mediterranean in just one day.

Reoccurring fears of multiculturalism ups and downs

The fear of a multicultural Europe has terrified both Western and Eastern European governments. Hungary, Slovakia and Greece are mostly ethnically homogeneous countries and see homogeneity as a positive for keeping each country in relative peace. Germany, UK and France have absorbed and welcomed millions of migrants over the past century. However, all three countries are seen as suffering from political disagreements to social cohesion due to multiculturalism or ethnic diversity. Keep in mind that historically even some Eastern European countries were once multicultural, home to different ethnic groups and religions under the Soviet Union. Yugoslavia became the poster child and was once admired for its multiculturalism. Until Nazi Germany's poisonous racism pushed many governments who fell under Nazi occupation to break up their societies along ethnic lines swallowed by extreme scientific racism, xenophobia and a world war that still haunts many countries to this day. The Neo Nazis and fascists have been having field days with their acceptance in mainstream society. Marine Le Pen continues to get airtime and Pegida in Germany is not slowing down its protests of migrants and refugees. The Anti migrant groups do not want to hear any blame nor understand the connections between Western interventions in Libya, Syria and Africa in the Middle East, war against ISIS and Al Qaeda leading to the exodus of people in the first place.

Serbia on the other hand, has been in the shoes of migrants and refugees before during the 1990s Yugoslav wars of independence. Only recently Serbia's image has changed from pariah state into a friendly country working on rapprochement with its neighbors Croatia, Slovenia and Kosovo. Serbs regard Kosovo as part of Serbian territory. Nevertheless, the Serbian government has grudgingly made an about face on Kosovo as part of its list of EU requirements to join the EU member state club. Serbia still has good relationships with Russia. It has much to do with cultural, linguistic, historical and political connections. Russia has generally had Serbia's back when confronted by Western states or criticisms. Croatia has been reinventing itself since the war ended in 1992. Croatian government has showcased the country as Western orientated and the hip young country on the Adriatic with cultural ties to its Northern and further West neighbor Italy. Yet, Croatia itself is still dealing with the skeletons and left over demons of the early 1990s Yugoslav war. The consequences of the war ie fratricide and ethnic nationalism and xenophobia often clouds its relationship with Serbia no matter how diplomatic or friendly. The lack of a practical strategy to register migrants or sending them an cyclical path between Croatia and Serbia has rised tensions between both governments

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