Ireland is a proper European partner to the Joe Soaps from Warsaw, Riga and Vilnius, while the French and Germans have closed their doors to them.
We have close to 300,000 immigrants working from the new accession states here. Let's say they are on a wage between the minimum wage of €17,000 and the average wage of close to €35,000 a year. So let's say €25,000. That's a total wage bill of €7.5bn per year.
As we are now going into our fifth year of open borders, it is likely that Ireland has put back more cash in the pockets of poor European immigrants in five years that the EU has given us in 35 years.
If you want to see what European integration is for ordinary people, don't watch the pomp and ceremony of the leaders' summit tomorrow, go to the arrivals hall at Dublin airport.
There, amid the stonewashed denims, shaved heads and East European biker jackets, you will see the true hope that Europe brings. It is a chance of a better life for the immigrants and their children. It is the chance to bring money home, to plan and to invest in the future. This is what Europe is all about.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
David McWilliams in today's Irish Independent explains how the Irish people are truly good Europeans and have already repaid the €33bn that we've received in aid over the past 35 years.
Posted by Eagle at 3:44 PM