The problem with populists. A short story. Yesterday, Italy’s interior ministry published data on migrant arrivals. So far this year there have been 15,500 arrivals, an 80% drop compared to last year
A second interesting slide in the release, which is here interno.gov.it/sites/default/…, is data regarding relocations. Salvini & his fans love attacking Germany. They praise Kurz & Orban. But who takes most migrants from Italy? Germany. Malta takes more than Austria. Hungary takes none
Italy’s interior minister, Matteo Salvini, obviously hasn’t tweeted these numbers or done a Facebook live about them.
There are two points to this story:
1) Current arrivals do not equate to crisis levels. But this may not last. Numbers can go up, and there could be a crisis at anytime in future. Europe needs a common migration & asylum policy - and the window for one is now.
2) But what the numbers vs the rhetoric also show is that politicians like Salvini, Seehofer, Kurz, Orban etc are not dealing with facts, but are either exploiting fears or painting a picture that doesn’t exist for political & electoral gain - and that makes any reform difficult
Finally, problem with the stance taken by likes of Seehofer & Kurz: when you fuel misinformation & fear based not on reality but misconception, you always lose in the long term because nobody makes stuff up better than populists. Responding to populism with populism never works