Now that there is talk of evacuating the 'jungle' in Calais, where all kinds of sans-papiers are camping in the hope of finding a way to reach England, the authorities in our country are afraid there will come a flood of people seeking a new way via Belgium.
Therefore, the minister of internal affairs, the governor of West-Flanders and the mayors of the town concerned are concentrating on protecting the borders with France. Police - on the motorcycle, by car, on horseback - will guard all the known smuggler ways into West-Flanders.
Especially the governor of the province is afraid of creating a new Calais in Zeebrugge, our most important harbour at the North Sea coast. Already lots of immigrants are present there. If they put up tents, these are removed by the police, but it's becoming a real problem. Once picked up, the immigrants have the choice of asking for asylum in Belgium or return. Most of them plainly refuse. They don't want to stay here. The last time we were in Heist, we already noticed there were already lots of immigrants on the tram and more are on their way.
What is especially a problem that these people don't get that they don't have a future in England and they could better apply for asylum in Belgium or France. What can they do in England? Work in a sweatshop? Live under the radar all their lives? What kind of future is that?
And what irks me most are the so-called do-gooders who talk about the past world wars. There were lots of people on the flight, that's true, also my own grandmother and her children. But nobody helped them! They were not given food and shelter, lord no. They had to fence for themselves. If my grandma hadn't been a woman with character, things could have gone wrong for them.
Nobody says that people in need shouldn't be helped. But Europe can hardly manage millions of them. I'm very much afraid that the situation will escalade and nationalism will be on the rise. And then someone will be the new Hitler...