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Mon Nov 11, 2019, 10:36 AM

"Fortress Europe": Building Anti-Immigrant Walls Along Europe's Borders Is Big Business

'The Business of Building Walls': New Report Shows Companies Cashing In on Europe's Expanding Anti-Migrant Barriers.' "As we celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall, it is tragic that so many new walls have been built across Europe to keep out the most vulnerable people on our planet." Common Dreams, Nov. 8, 2019. (~ The start of a New Dark Ages in Europe?)



-- HUNGARY: Police patrol the Hungarian border fence with Serbia on January 18, 2019 outside Szeged, Hungary. In 2015 thousands of migrants massed on the Hungarian border. The situation pushed Prime Minister Vicktor Orban's government to build a fence along its borders with Serbia, the resulting thirteen-foot-tall electric razor-wire fence has virtually halted immigration to the country.

There are plenty of headlines this week marking the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Saturday, but new walls in Europe are very much a big business. That's the focus of a new report published Tuesday by the Transnational Institute (TNI), the Dutch campaign against the Arms Trade (Stop Wapenhandel), and Delàs Center.

Entitled "The Business of Building Walls," the publication builds on the groups' 2018 report on walls. It names the beneficiaries of this new wave of barriers, which include not just physical walls but also "radar systems to the drones to the surveillance cameras to the biometric fingerprinting systems"—all aimed at blocking refugees and migrants. This business, the report adds, "has both fueled and benefited from a massive expansion of public spending on border security by the European Union (EU) and its member states."

"As we celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall, it is tragic that so many new walls have been built across Europe to keep out the most vulnerable people on our planet," said Niamh Ni Bhriain of TNI. "This report shows that the new era of building walls is driven by a powerful military and security industry that have shaped EU border policies and reaped the financial rewards."

Since 1989, "European countries have constructed about 1,000 kilometers of border walls and fences, more than six times the length of the Berlin Wall, to keep out refugees and migrants. Most of these have been built since 2015, when Syria’s civil war was at its height," says the report. While Europe had just two walls in the 1990s, the number shot up to 15 in 2019, which combine to a length of 1,000 kilometers.
If anti-refugee maritime operations are included to the count ships, aircraft, and drones used to patrol the Mediterranean, the length of Europe's walls add an additional 4,750 kilometers.

Building Fortress Europe comes with costs, as a press release accompanying the report sums up: Data shows at least €900 million has been spent on land walls and fences, €676.4 million on maritime operations (2006 to 2017), and €999.4m on its virtual walls (2000-2019). Winners and losers of the wall business are evident: A Europe full of walls has proved to be very good for the bottom line of a wide range of corporations including arms, security, IT, shipping and construction companies. The EU's planned budgets for border security for the next decade show it is also a business that will continue to boom.

Three European military firms—Thales, Leonardo, and Airbus—have been the biggest beneficiaries, according to the analysis... "Perversely," says the report, "these firms are also among the top four biggest European arms dealers to the Middle East and North Africa, thus contributing to the conflicts that cause forced migration."...

More, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/11/08/business-building-walls-new-report-shows-companies-cashing-europes-expanding-anti



-- Graphic from the new report, 'The Business of Building Walls'

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Reply "Fortress Europe": Building Anti-Immigrant Walls Along Europe's Borders Is Big Business (Original post)
appalachiablue Nov 11 OP
mr_lebowski Nov 11 #1
appalachiablue Nov 11 #2
SharonAnn Nov 11 #3
sandensea Nov 11 #4

Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 11:08 AM

1. Depressing ... at least the one in the pic looks relatively temporary ...

More a fence than than a 'big beautiful wall' ...

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Response to mr_lebowski (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 11:27 AM

2. Grim and also dystopian with all the surveillance tech, drones

Makes you wonder about things to come, and not just in Old Europe

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 02:45 PM

3. Reminds of British description of "Fortress Singapore" in WWII. It fell in a couple of days.

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Mon Nov 11, 2019, 03:34 PM

4. They don't call Viktor Orban the Trump of the Danube for nothing

Although even Orban has better domestic policy.

Trump's more like his Argentine friend Macri (who just became the first Argentine president to lose re-election): a disaster all around.

Here's hoping Cheeto ends the same way.

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