An Interview With Misa Djurkovic: Serbia–and Europe–Under Siege
An Interview with Misa Djurkovic, a writer and political analyst with the Institute of European Studies, Belgrade.
Part I: Τhe Immigration Crisis and Serbia
1. How has the Inundation of Islamic refugees affected Serbia? How many have actually crossed into Serbia? Do many stay or are they just passing through on the way to Hungary.
For the time being more than 200, 000 of immigrants, mostly from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq have entered Serbia. Not all of them should be regarded as refugees or asylum seekers. Huge number of them are economic immigrants. At this point, all of them are hoping to reach Germany or Sweden, and Serbia is just transit country for them. Earlier they were going to Hungary, insisting on entering without documents and registration. After Hungary built a wall, they changed their route, and now they are going by way of Croatia, Slovenia and Austria. But there is a real danger that a significant number of them might actually end up living in Serbia. The EU administration has actually stated that false asylum seekers from the Middle East can be returned to Serbia.
To make matters worse, in closing the borders without halting the flow of immigrants, the EU will be turning Serbia and the Balkans into some kind of collective center for refugees, some of whom would have to stay for longer period and even to start living in Serbia. Some liberals from the Serbian administration have already declared that they should be offered empty places in Serbia in which to settle permanently. The latest news we have heard from Brussels,. it appears that the EU is asking Serbia to hold around 30,000 of refugees.
2. Serbia is not a rich country. How is your government coping with the needs of so many people?
Serbia is, indeed, a poor country with serious economic troubles, but it is a country which is still treated as a pariah by the West. The current Serbian administration is trying to be as cooperative with Brussels as it is possible, even to the point of endangering Serbia's basic interests. During this crisis we insisted that we are a very immigrant-friendly country, opening fully our boarders and helping everybody to cross through our country. This decision created huge problems with neighbors like Hungary and Croatia, which were trying to reduce the numbers of refugees arriving. For the time being, as long as we were perceived as only a transit country, we had only minor problems with the migrants, and we all helped them with humanitarian help and other needs, even though we received little financial support from the EU.
On the other hand it should be noted that during whole their trip the migrants have received logistic support from an international assistance infrastructure funded mostly by George Soros. This includes financial support, high tech mobile phones, instructions in Turkey (How to reach Germany in five days), maps, etc. This is a vast demographic operation directed against the interests of EU countries. Part of this NGO structure has been working very hard and effectively in Serbia.
3. In the American press, we hear mostly of educated Syrian refugees and their families. When we see them interviewed, most speak English and have professional or technical backgrounds, but we also hear reports from Hungary that a large number of these migrants are young men of military age. What are the migrants in Serbia like?
In Serbia, more than 70% of these migrants are young, robust men of military age. In the beginning nobody cared too much about that, but more reently some of us have started alerting the public warning, and even government agencies have increased security control and monitoring of their behavior during the time they spend in our country. On the one hand, there is a clear logic why young men should initially make up so great a part of this wave. They are trying to a avoid situation in which they are faced with the choice of either joining ISIS being executed. In such a situation, it is only natural for them to run to survive and to reach Western Europe, hoping that, after some time, the very liberal EU regulations, which include directives on family reunification, will give them the opportunity to bring in their families. On the other hand, our security apparatus knows that some of them have military experience, and also that some of them are being sent by ISIS and Al Quaeda to act as an Islamicist fifth column in Europe. Since the beginning of this year the German federal police have been present at the Hungarian-Serbian border, trying to check up on possible ISIS assets entering EU.
It is also true that initially we were receiving more educated migrants, but we expect that very soon less educated and poorer are going to be entering.
4. In Hungary there are stories of angry confrontations with aid workers and police? Is anything like that happening in Serbia?
There were some incidents but not so many as in Hungary. Serbia unlike Hungary opened itself fully for them, while Hungary acted with the power of a sovereign state, using even army units, state prosecutors, and their entire security apparatus to prevent illegal crossings and free movement of undocumented persons. There was a moment when we had real fight at the border with Hungary, between Hungarian security forces and young male refugees helped by Soros NGO's such as Women in Black. They were actually fighting to get permission to enter without registration! After that even our government reacted and prevented the migrants from making future attacks on Hungary. For the most part, the migrants are very happy with their treatment in Serbia. Serbs are traditionally a very hospitable people so it was normal for us to help children, families and people in need. Our problem is that we too often neglect security issues.
In Part II: The European Context, Misa Djurkovic analyzes the suicidal strategies of EU governments that discourage the procreation of children but welcome immigrants to fill the vacuum.