‘We Can’t Afford to Lose Spain’ – Eurocrats Fear Migrant Surge Will Bring Populist Wave to Madrid

Spain
AP Photo/Santi Palacios
JACK MONTGOMERY

European Union officials fear they may “lose Spain” to populism as a result of the migrant surge which the country’s new Socialist Party government has encouraged.

“Right now we can’t afford to lose Spain,” a high-ranking Brussels bureaucrat told El Pais, noting that the rise of anti-mass migration, pro-sovereignty politicians resistant to EU diktats in countries such as Poland, Hungary, Austria, and Italy was already causing headaches for the bloc.

“In the current scenario, and because of its demographic and economic weight, Spain is a fundamental piece to reinforce the pro-European bloc,” the official confessed.

Spain has recently become the European Union’s number one point of entry for illegal migrants, overtaking Italy — where the new anti-mass migration, eurosceptic populist coalition government, led by Matteo Salvini’s League (Lega) and the Luigi Di Maio’s Five Star Movement (M5S), began turning away the NGO ‘rescue’ vessels which have been picking migrants up from smuggler boats off the coast of Libya and bringing them to distant Europe rather than African ports nearby.

Madrid’s new Socialist government has appeared to relish the opportunity Italy’s hardline stance has presented for it to step forward as a champion for open borders, but this has, in turn, prompted the centre-right People’s Party — like the Austrian People’s Party under Sebastian Kurz — to shift in a more populist stance on migration.

Indeed, new leader Pablo Casado has declared: “What Spaniards are looking for is a party that says, very clearly, that there can’t be papers for everyone and that Spain can’t absorb millions of Africans who want to come to Europe in search of a better future.

“Because it isn’t possible, we need to start saying it isn’t, even though it’s not politically correct.”

Casado’s comments were attacked by Ada Colau, mayor of Barcelona — the regional capital of largely left-liberal, separatist-leaning Catalonia.

“Europe was founded to defend life and to say never again when it comes to racism and fascism… Normalising comments such as those from Casado and Salvini is the first step towards the destruction of Europe and democracy itself,” she wailed.

Socialist foreign minister Josep Borrell also attempted to downplay the crisis, saying that the influx was “not mass migration”.

However, he also appeared to suggest that mass migration would be no bad thing if the alternative was allowing Europe’s population to fall slightly or its age structure to become older, declaring: “Europe’s demographic evolution shows that unless we want to gradually turn into an ageing continent, we need new blood, and it doesn’t look like this new blood is coming from our capacity to procreate.”

Follow Jack Montgomery on Twitter: @JackBMontgomery
Follow Breitbart London on Facebook: Breitbart London

.

Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.