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Georgia’s reward for EU membership – hordes of migrants

Tbilisi may get more than it bargained for if it wants to join Europe




(New Eastern Outlook) – There is always a price to pay for gaining the benefits of EU membership, and even the hope of eventual EU membership. When Spain first applied in the early 1980s it was obliged to cut agricultural production but only given a short time to make industry catch up to make up the shortfall. Somehow it muddled through, but the message was clear – “We are the club, and new members have to jump through hoops if they want to join.”

Despite the UK’s attempt to leave the EU, or perhaps because its mishandling of this is rapidly making the UK an international laughing stock, there are still many aspirant countries who want to join this powerful politico-economic union. Many of these countries come from Eastern Europe, and think the EU offers them a new identity as a “Western” country. To obtain this identity they are prepared to do almost anything, and the EU is taking full advantage of this.

The EU is always claiming it has a migrant crisis, when in fact it has failed to address the domestic problems arising from factors such as globalisation, greater automation and the transition from industry to services. Rather than admit its failure, the EU has encouraged its member states to blame migrants for the resulting problems. In any democracy, those who can’t vote are the easiest target, so a snowballing anti-immigrant rhetoric has emerged, which domestic governments have been keen to take advantage of to keep themselves in power.

Therefore the EU has to be seen to be “taking action” over migrants, despite all the services and industries which depend on them. Unsurprisingly, there is evidence that they have become the latest hoop new members have to jump through to gain any benefits from the EU. The new message is, “You can join if you have European values, and that means we are going to dump our migrants in your country to suit ourselves and tell you how you have to be inclusive.” But the EU itself, knowing this is a lie, can’t even come out and openly ‘speak-it-to-the-people-who should-be-hearing.’’

Tell it to someone else

The European Commission is funding a programme in Georgia which will promote positive messages about migration – in other words, begin conditioning Georgians that their future depends on accepting migrants. But this programme is not being conducted in Tbilisi, where the media is based, or Kutaisi, where parliament has sat since Saakashili tried to gain a regional support base having lost Tbilisi. It is poor people in the villages of Lagodekhi who will be the first “beneficiaries” – presumably because that area has been identified as a place where migrants can be settled.

There are many Georgian victims of the Abkhazian war of the early 1990s who still don’t have homes. A lot of agricultural land is unused because no one wants to work it anymore. Ongoing political instability makes life in forgotten rural areas more precarious by the day, as village dwellers are always bottom of the priority list. But here is the EU going into Lagodekhi to tell people that all this is because they are backward, and need to be educated and compassionate enough to accept migrants in their midst.

Georgians are famously hospitable, and no more anti-foreign than any other people. But they may well ask: why us? If this programme is so necessary, why not conduct it in Tbilisi or Kutaisi, where there is much more accommodation and many more opportunities for these migrants than out in Lagodekhi?

There are three reasons. First, people in the cities have more experience of migration. They have seen all the Chinese sex workers, the diplomats and aid workers who come and go and the businessmen who start up in Georgia because they can pay people next to nothing and run away if things go wrong. These are the people who migrate to Georgia by choice, because the generality see that Georgia has little to offer them. People in villages, who are less impacted by these migrants, might be more receptive to the idea that migration will help them, regardless of why the migrants are really being sent there.

Second, the EU has lost a lot of credibility in Georgia’s centres of power. Although Georgians want Europe, they don’t think the EU has the monopoly on what being “European” is. Georgia thinks the rest of Europe should bend to it once in a while, not constantly tell it what to do, because Georgia is already part of the European continent. It may not be a member of the club, but that membership is its birthright.

For many years, under successive governments, Georgia has slavishly followed every US and EU suggestion in order to “harmonise” its laws and practices with those of Europe. This harmonisation has been done through the proper channels, the government and parliament. The result has been that the public has accused governments of introducing anti-Georgian practices, which are not necessary to make Georgians European. The EU is pursuing this programme in the villages to go over the heads of government and parliament, hoping they will create a new climate of public opinion the authorities must accept.

The world is aware of what happened when the Georgian parliament introduced new anti-homophobia laws at the request of the EU. The harmonisation didn’t alter the existing Georgian law much, but the process was seen as promoting homosexuality in a country which is very resistant to it. The annual Day Against Homophobia, introduced in consequence, is poorly observed because a large Christian Family march takes place on the same day to counter it. The villagers of Lagodekhi are unlikely to march through the streets so publicly, and few would notice or care if they did, so even if the EU’s message is ignored this won’t have the same effect on the general population.

Third, the formally educated people live in the cities. Their resistance to EU dictates gives the EU an excuse to call Georgia backward, and to claim this resistance is due to some inherent trait in the population. Having failed to persuade the “educated”, it now targets those it considers “ignorant” to address this “deviation” at source. What the EU wanted to do all along – dump migrants on aspirant members to relieve pressures on governments in the older member states – is being presented as an educational process, despite Georgians having been well-educated in what the West wants to inflict on them ever since they regained their independence.

Two-way song

If people want to migrate to Georgia they can. There are few, if any, restrictions on EU citizens entering Georgia and living and working there. There are very few stories of migrants returning home because they were treated badly by Georgians, and the cost of living is much lower than it is in most of the EU.

If EU citizens want to migrate to Georgia little prevents them, and such migration has long been encouraged by businesses who want Western skills and investment, no matter what sort of investment it is. If they are not doing so in great numbers, but the EU is training people to accept migration, this migration will be forced upon those who undertake it.

Since the fall of Communism there has been little interaction between Georgia and Cuba. Few Georgians therefore remember the Mariel Boatlift of 1980, one of the more notorious examples of disguised forced migration, which was likewise presented as a positive thing at the time.

After some disgruntled Cubans drove a car into the Peruvian Embassy compound and demanded asylum, which was granted, Castro surprised the world by announcing that anyone who wanted to leave Cuba could just climb over the embassy wall. Over 100,000 did, and then fled in a series of boats from the port Castro had opened for the purpose, eagerly assisted by “freedom lovers” everywhere. Only later did the US discover that Castro had simply emptied the mental hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters and transported all his problems to the US, which was still busy educating its populace on the benefit of accepting these migrants, whilst closing the door to millions of others.

So who exactly are the migrants the EU is preparing Lagodekhi villagers to accept in their midst? They are highly unlikely to be able to speak Georgian, few will be Orthodox Christians and fewer will have any knowledge of Georgian traditions or culture. If a few such people are going to arrive, there is no need to spend a lot of money educating people about migrants, as each person would be treated as an individual. The EU is clearly thinking in terms of dumping job lots of its migrants on Georgia, and when identifying those you wish to remove, the worst examples are the first in the queue.

Not in our backyard

Georgia is suffering a demographic crisis, having a low birth rate and ageing population. The ‘best and brightest’ are running to the West in search of jobs, even though most would be happier if their skills could be put to use at home, in a job or business which could support them and their families, and give hope for the future. The main thing Georgia has always wanted out of the EU has never been trade but visa-free travel to the West, as this suits Georgians back home too. EU citizens already have visa-free travel to Georgia, but few are aware of this because few want to take advantage of this arrangement.

If the EU wanted people to migrate to Georgia for positive reasons it would ensure its aid actually helped people rather than funding geopolitical games. In a small country like Georgia it is much easier to spot things like misuse of public funds than it is in big Western countries, and they impact more directly on people’s lives. Georgians know that “educational programmes” such as these are all part and parcel of a wider programme of subversion which leads to servitude, even though they are happy to partake of them for their own ends, having few other choices.

The programme in Lagodekhi will feature a number of speakers, including Zurab Balanchivadze, who will “speak about the influence of social media and mentor the participants in shooting short videos which will promote positive messages regarding migration”. Zurab Balanchivadze writes for a website called Chai Khana (Tea House)It is currently advertising for interns by offering them Impact Hub membership. The Impact Hub IP and Brand are owned by the “Impact Hub Association”, which is in turn the sole owner of “HUB GmbH (Impact Hub Company)”, a charitable company with the mandate to manage global operations and facilitate the development of the network as a whole.

This company is based in Vienna, which is also home to one of the global organisation’s main investors, the Erste Stiftung (aka “Erste Foundation”). The Erste Foundation appears to work hand-in-hand with George Soros. Though offered as part of Erasmus+, this programme is not even an EU project but a Soros Foundation one – the price the EU itself has to pay for getting its hands on Soros funds for better-intentioned endeavours, and prevent him wrecking more currencies with his speculations.

If the EU wanted the best and brightest in Europe to migrate to Georgia it would build them better houses and establish new businesses, not lecture villagers in Lagodekhi about how backward and chauvinistic they are. Whoever ends up migrating to Georgia, neither side is likely to benefit from the arrangement, and Georgians are right to complain that the EU should show them greater respect than this.

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De-Dollarization Tops Agenda at Russia’s Eastern Economic Forum

The Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) was held in Vladivostok on Sept.11-13. Founded in 2015, the event has become a platform for planning and launching projects to strengthen business ties in the Asia-Pacific region.



Via Strategic Culture

This year, the EEF brought together delegations from over 60 countries to discuss the topic “The Far East: Expanding the Range of Possibilities”. A total of 100 business events involving over 6,000 participants were held during the three days.

1,357 media personnel worked to cover the forum. Last year, the number of participants was 5,000 with 1,000 media persons involved in reporting and broadcasting. The EEF-18 gathered 340 foreign and 383 Russian CEOs. Nearly 80 start-ups from across South-East Asia joined the meeting.

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This year, a total of 175 agreements worth of 2.9 trillion rubles (some $4.3 billion) were signed. For comparison, the sum was 2.5 trillion rubles (roughly $3.7 billion) in 2017.

They included the development of the Baimsky ore deposits in Chukotka, the construction of a terminal for Novatek LNG at Bechevinskaya Bay in Kamchatka and the investment of Asian countries in Russia’s agricultural projects in the Far East.

Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Mail.Ru Group, Megafon and Chinese Alibaba inked an agreement on establishing AliExpress trade joint venture. Rosneft and Chinese CNPC signed an oil exploration agreement.

The Chinese delegation was the largest (1,096 people), followed by the Japanese (570 members). The list of guests included the president of Mongolia and prime ministers of Japan and South Korea.

It was also the first time Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the event to meet his Russian counterpart. The issue of de-dollarization topped the agenda. Russia and China reaffirmed their interest in expanding the use of national currencies in bilateral deals.

During the forum, Kirill Dmitriev, the head of RDIF, said the fund intends to use only national currencies in its transactions with China starting from 2019. It will cooperate with the China Development Bank.

This “yuanification” is making visible progress with Shanghai crude futures increasing their share of oil markets up to 14 percent or even more. China has signed agreements with Canada and Qatar on national currencies exchange.

READ MORE: Eastern Economic Forum opens new chapter in US-Russia dialogue

De-dollarization is a trend that is picking up momentum across the world. A growing number of countries are interested in replacing the dollar. Russia is leading the race to protect itself from fluctuations, storms and US-waged trade wars and sanctions.

Moscow backs non-dollar trade with Ankara amid the ongoing lira crisis. Turkey is switching from the dollar to settlements in national currencies, including its trade with China and other countries. Ditching the US dollar is the issue topping the BRICS agenda. In April, Iran transferred all international payments to the euro.

The voices calling for de-dollarization are getting louder among America’s closest European allies. In August, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called for the creation of a new payments system independent of the US.

According to him, Europe should not allow the United States to act “over our heads and at our expense.” The official wants to strengthen European autonomy by establishing independent payment channels, creating a European Monetary Fund and building up an independent SWIFT system.

Presenting his annual program, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called on Sept. 12 for the European Union to promote the euro as a global currency to challenge the dollar.

According to him, “We must do more to allow our single currency to play its full role on the international scene.” Mr. Juncker believes “it is absurd that Europe pays for 80 percent of its energy import bill – worth 300 billion euros a year – in US dollars when only roughly 2 percent of our energy imports come from the United States.” He wants the raft of proposals made in his state of the union address to start being implemented before the European Parliament elections in May.

70% of all world trade transactions account for the dollar, while 20% are  settled in the euro, and the rest falls on the yuan and other Asian currencies. The dollar value is high to make the prices of consumer goods in the US artificially low. The demand for dollars allows refinancing the huge debt at low interest rates. The US policy of trade wars and sanctions has triggered the global process of de-dollarization.

Using punitive measures as a foreign policy tool is like shooting oneself in the foot. It prompts a backlash to undermine the dollar’s status as the world reserve currency – the basis of the US economic might. The aggressive policy undermines the US world standing to make it weaker, not stronger.

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Putin and Erdogan Plan Syria-Idlib DMZ

What the Putin-Erdogan DMZ decision means is that the 50,000 Turkish troops occupying Idlib will take control over that land, and have responsibility over the largest concentration of jihadists anywhere on the planet.

Eric Zuesse



As I recommended in a post on September 10th, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan jointly announced on September 17th, “We’ve agreed to create a demilitarized zone between the government troops and militants before October 15. The zone will be 15-20km wide,” which compares to the Korean DMZ’s 4-km width. I had had in mind the Korean experience, but obviously Putin and Erdogan are much better-informed about the situation than I am, and they have chosen a DMZ that’s four to five times wider. In any case, the consequences of such a decision will be momentous, unless U.S. President Donald Trump is so determined for there to be World War III as to stop at nothing in order to force it to happen no matter what Russia does or doesn’t do.

What the Putin-Erdogan DMZ decision means is that the 50,000 Turkish troops who now are occupying Idlib province of Syria will take control over that land, and will thus have the responsibility over the largest concentration of jihadists anywhere on the planet: Idlib. It contains the surviving Syrian Al Qaeda and ISIS fighters, including all of the ones throughout Syria who surrendered to the Syrian Army rather than be shot dead on the spot by Government forces.

For its part, the U.S. Government, backed by its allies and supported in this by high officials of the United Nations, had repeatedly threatened that if there occurs any chemical-weapons attack, or even any claimed chemical-weapons attack, inside Idlib, the U.S. and its allies will instantaneously blame the Syrian Government and bomb Syria, and will shoot down the planes of Syria and of Russia that oppose this bombing-campaign to conquer or ‘liberate’ Syria from its Government. The U.S. has announced its determination to protect what one high U.S. official — who is endorsing what Trump is doing there — “the largest Al Qaeda safe haven since 9/11.” He admits it, but he wants to protect them from being bombed by Syria and by Russia.

During recent weeks, the U.S. military has increasingly said that even if the jihadists they’ve been assisting to assemble the materials for a chemical-weapons attack fail to carry it out or to stage one, any attempt by Syrian and Russian forces to destroy the jihadists (which the U.S. side calls ‘rebels’) in Idlib will be met with overwhelming U.S.-and-allied firepower. That would spark WW III, because whichever side — Russia or U.S. — loses in the Syrian battlefield will nuclear-blitz-attack the other side so as to have the lesser damage from the nuclear war and thus (in military terms) ‘win’ WW III, because the blitz-attack will destroy many of the opposite side’s retaliatory weapons. In a nuclear war, the first side to attack will have a considerable advantage — reducing the number of weapons the other side can launch.

If, on the other hand, the DMZ-plan works, then Turkey’s forces will be responsible for vetting any of Idlib’s residents who try to leave, in order to prohibit jihadists and their supporters from leaving. Once that task (filtering out the non-dangerous inhabitants and retaining in Idlib only the jihadists and their supporters) is done, the entire world might be consulted on whether to exterminate the remaining residents or to set them free to return to the countries from which they came or to other countries. Presumably, no country would want those ‘refugees’. That would answer the question.

America’s Arab allies, the oil monarchies such as the Sauds who own Saudi Arabia and the Thanis who own Qatar, and which have funded Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood, would then be put on a spot, because if they say “Exterminate them!” then their clergy who have provided the moral imprimatur upon those families’ ownership of those nations, will either be in rebellion or else will themselves become overthrown either by their own followers or else by their monarch — overthrown from below or from above.

Alternatively, after Turkey’s forces in Idlib will have allowed release from Idlib of all who will be allowed out, Syria’s and Russia’s bombers will simply go in and slaughter the then-surrounded jihadists and take upon themselves the responsibility for that, regardless of what the leaders of the U.S. and its allied governments might say.

On the night of September 17th in Syria, there were missile-attacks “from the sea” against several Syrian cities; and those attacks could have come from either Israel’s or America’s ships, or from other U.S.-allied ships. Russian Television bannered, “Russian plane disappears from radars during Israeli attack on Syria’s Latakia – MoD” and reported:

A Russian military Il-20 aircraft with 14 service members on board went off the radars during an attack by four Israeli jets on Syria’s Latakia province, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
Air traffic controllers at the Khmeimim Air Base “lost contact” with the aircraft on Wednesday evening, during the attack of Israeli F-16 fighters on Latakia, said the MOD.Russian radars also registered the launch of missiles from a French frigate in the Mediterranean on the evening of September 17. …
The attack on Latakia came just hours after Russia and Turkey negotiated a partial demilitarization of the Idlib province

If the missiles were authorized by President Trump, then WW III has already begun in its pre-nuclear stage. However, if the attacks were launched by Israel’s Netanyahu, and/or by France’s Macron, without U.S. authorization, then the U.S. President might respond to them by siding against that aggressor(s) (and also against what he used to call “Radical Islamic Terrorists”), so as to prevent a nuclear war.

Late on September 17th, Al Masdar News bannered “NATO warships move towards Syrian coast” and reported “The NATO flotilla cruising off the Syrian coast reportedly consists of a Dutch frigate, the De Ruyter, a Canadian frigate, the Ville de Quebec, and a Greek cruiser, the Elli.” Al Qaeda and ISIS have influential protectors.

Ultimately, the decision will be U.S. President Trump’s as to whether he is willing to subject the planet to WW III and to its following nuclear winter and consequent die-off of agriculture and of everyone, in order to ‘win’ a nuclear war, such as America’s aristocracy has especially championed since the year 2006. The nuclear-victory concept is called “Nuclear Primacy” — the use of nuclear weapons so as to win a nuclear war against Russia, instead of to prevent a nuclear war. That concept’s predecessor, the “Mutually Assured Destruction” or “M.A.D.” meta-strategy, predominated even in the U.S. until 2006. Trump will have to decide whether the purpose of America’s nuclear-weapons stockpiles is to prevent WW III, or is to win WW III.

In Russia, the purpose has always been to have nuclear weapons in order to prevent WW III. But America’s President will be the person who will make the ultimate decision on this. And Idlib might be the spark. Netanyahu or Macron might be wanting to drag the U.S. into war even against Russia, but the final decision will be Trump’s.

The ultimate question is: How far will the U.S. go in order to continue the U.S. dollar as being the overwhelmingly dominant global currency?


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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Russian MoD: Il-20 downed by Syrian missile after attacking Israel’s F-16s used it as cover

Israeli pilots used the Russian plane as cover and set it up to be targeted by the Syrian air defense forces.

The Duran



Russia has stated that it “reserves right to response” after claiming that Israel’s actions led to downing of Il-20 by Syrian S-200 missiles.

The Russian military accused their Israeli counterparts for causing the downing of a Russian Il-20 plane by the Syrian air defense forces, which were responding to an Israeli air raid on Latakia.

Via RT

The Russian military say the Israeli raid on Syria triggered a chain of events, which led to the shooting down of a Russian Il-20 plane by a Syrian S-200 surface-to-air missile. Moscow reserves the right to respond accordingly.

On Monday evening four Israeli F-16 fighter jets attacked targets in Syria’s Latakia after approaching from the Mediterranean, a statement by the Russian defense ministry said on Tuesday. The Israeli warplanes came at a small altitude and “created a dangerous situation for other aircraft and vessels in the region”, it said.

The military said the French Navy’s frigate “Auvergne” as well as a Russian Il-20 plane were in the area of the Israeli operation.

“The Israeli pilots used the Russian plane as cover and set it up to be targeted by the Syrian air defense forces. As a consequence, the Il-20, which has radar cross-section much larger than the F-16, was shot down by an S-200 system missile,” the statement said.

The Russian ministry stressed that the Israelis must have known that the Russian plane was present in the area, which didn’t stop them from “the provocation”. Israel also failed to warn Russia about the planned operation in advance. The warning came a minute before the attack started, which “did not leave time to move the Russian plane to a safe area,” the statement said.

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