Belgium has just granted amnesty to 50,000 “individuals” -- thereby deliberately attempting to replace one population by a very different one – all the while claiming that this is not collective amnesty.

There are conspiracy theories that hold that Europe’s political establishment is deliberately attempting to replace the continent’s population by an entirely different one. Although conspiracy theories are rarely true, Europe’s political establishment is making it extremely hard for the skeptics to refute them. Take, for instance, the recent Belgian amnesty for illegal aliens.

Last July, the government of Belgium announced a collective amnesty for illegal aliens. It is Belgium’s second general amnesty in barely a decade. When the previous one was approved by the Belgian Parliament in 1999, the government promised Parliament that it would be the final one and that henceforward people who entered the country illegally would be sent back. Nevertheless, there has been no crackdown on illegal immigration in the past ten years and hardly any illegal aliens have been sent back.

Last July, immediately after the parliamentary recess had begun, the government of Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy decided there should be a new amnesty to “regularize” illegal aliens who can demonstrate that they have “integrated sufficiently” into the country, e.g. by having children at school. The government took the decision unilaterally, without approval from the Parliament. This is against the law; the Belgian government cannot unilaterally grant a collective amnesty. Only Parliament has the power to do so.

The parties of Van Rompuy’s government coalition shrugged their shoulders. They refused to react against the usurpation of parliamentary powers because they did not want to open a public debate about immigration. Polls indicate that the overwhelming majority of the Belgians opposes the new round of regularizations. The Vlaams Belang, Belgium’s main opposition party, however, went to court. It requested the Council of State, Belgium’s highest administrative court, to annul the amnesty – which it did on December 11.

The government’s reaction to the annulment is astonishing. It announced that the court ruling would make no difference and that the illegal aliens need not worry. Mr. Melchior Wathelet, the Secretary of State for Immigration, said that, instead of collectively regularizing the 50,000 illegal aliens with one single signature, he will sign 50,000 individual regulations, granting each of them an individual amnesty.

Consequently, the 2009 amnesty will be Herman Van Rompuy’s farewell gift to the Belgians. Mr. Van Rompuy has meanwhile been appointed President of Europe, with an income higher than Mr. Obama’s, while the Belgians are left to foot the bill for thousands of new welfare recipients. Last September, a civil servant of Belgium’s Federal Agency for Aliens, warned: “This amnesty is madness. Our agency expects that one in every three is going to apply for welfare benefits.” Indeed, more than half of the aliens who were regularized in 1999-2000 received benefits as a result. The head of the Antwerp welfare department says that many of them are still on welfare ten years later; she expects the same to happen with those who are being regularized today.

Nevertheless, despite the court’s objections and despite the opposition of the people, the illegal aliens will be regularized. In three years’ time, the regularized aliens will be allowed to apply for Belgian citizenship. Meanwhile, figures indicate that half of the illegal aliens who have applied for regularization in the past months are Moroccans, while Moroccans already make up the largest group of immigrants in Belgium and many of them engage in criminal activities and refuse to integrate into Belgian society.

Conspiracy theorists can easily explain the conduct of the Belgian government. They will say it is an attempt to replace the Belgians by another population. For those who do not believe in this theory, it is harder to explain why Mr. Van Rompuy declared an amnesty which he knew to be unpopular, which will drain the Belgian welfare budget, and which is, moreover, unlawful because the government usurped the prerogatives of Parliament. For those who do not believe in the population replacement theory, it is hard to explain why the Belgian government, despite a court ruling, stubbornly sticks to its decision.

For those who do not believe in a conspiracy theory, it is equally hard to explain why on 15 December, George Papandreou, the Prime Minister of Greece, announced that one of the measures to reduce his country’s crushing budget deficit will be to “bring illegal immigrants into the social security system.” It is true that some illegal aliens work in the country illegally and do not pay taxes and contributions, but it is equally true that many others do not and will, if “brought into the system,” be net consumers rather than net contributors.

Those who do not believe that Europe’s ruling establishment has engaged in a conspiracy against it own people will also have a hard time explaining the recent decision of the appeals chamber of the Bar Association’s disciplinary council in the Netherlands. On 12 December, it acquitted a Muslim lawyer of contempt of court. The Muslim lawyer, who wears a Muslim head covering during court sessions, refuses to rise when the judge enters the courtroom. He says that his religion maintains that everyone is equal and that, hence, he cannot rise for the judge. Although everyone is equal, however, this same lawyer refuses to shake hands with women. Nevertheless, the Muslim lawyer is getting away with behavior which the ruling establishment would not tolerate from indigenous Dutch lawyers, and, more importantly, which the majority of the Dutch people does not wish to tolerate from newcomers.

Europe’s ruling establishment is currently engaged in policies which go so radically against what ordinary Europeans want that a dangerous rift is growing between the people and those who govern them. If this situation is not remedied, Europe’s governments risk losing their legitimacy in the eyes of the people. One does not need to be a conspiracy theorist to realize that this can only contribute to the potential for a revolutionary explosion of violence and anger somewhere down the road.

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