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Old August 15th, 2014, 02:43 AM   #2561
Manchester77
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When talking about Eurostar trains I wondered: What happens with trains between Dublin and Belfast? They stop at every station inbetween, and those stations have no big security building there. If the British are that concearned about foreigners entering their country, why don't the put op border checks there?
Because of the common travel area. It's like the Schengen but it's between all all areas of the British Isles so the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey. It's the same for the ferries if I'm remembering correctly. It makes sense since Ireland was part of the UK until the 20s and lots of people have family over in Ireland.

I'd also like to point out that not every British citizen is concerned about foreigners entering our country, we're not all UKIP voting, fox hunting closet racists! Believe me it'd be great to not piss about with passports whenever I go to France but that's the just the way of the world. To be honest I doubt there would be so much hostility to being in the Schengen if it were just with Western European nations - I've never heard Farage complain about French or Spanish or German immigrants but he certainly likes to complain about the billions of Romanians coming here (supposedly) !
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Old August 15th, 2014, 04:10 AM   #2562
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Guys! Paris - Barcelona from the begining it was planned to have 2 trains off season. Only 1 thing which is missing is Geneva - Barcelona train. And Spanish people are starting to love trains. 2014 is another year when Spain have the biggest train passenger grow in Europe.
I know.

But you know, not all of the Spaniards are benefitted by the new international services.
Actually, to northern Spain the cancellation of the Talgo to Paris has been a blow. Now you have to change at Hendaye.

And yes, Geneva-Barcelona is still missing, and it' s been missing for some time now. Let's hope the Bellegarde-Geneva works are finished soon.
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Old August 15th, 2014, 08:05 AM   #2563
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I'd also like to point out that not every British citizen is concerned about foreigners entering our country, we're not all UKIP voting, fox hunting closet racists! Believe me it'd be great to not piss about with passports whenever I go to France but that's the just the way of the world. To be honest I doubt there would be so much hostility to being in the Schengen if it were just with Western European nations - I've never heard Farage complain about French or Spanish or German immigrants but he certainly likes to complain about the billions of Romanians coming here (supposedly) !
I think major concern for British Home Office are not other Europeans from Romania or Bulgaria, but instead people from elsewhere in Asia and AFrica that try to reach UK via France. Just take a look at the irregular forest camps in Calais, full of people trying to smuggle themselves into UK.
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Old August 15th, 2014, 09:40 AM   #2564
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Guys! Paris - Barcelona from the begining it was planned to have 2 trains off season. Only 1 thing which is missing is Geneva - Barcelona train. And Spanish people are starting to love trains. 2014 is another year when Spain have the biggest train passenger grow in Europe.
I wonder if there would be a good uptake of a regional service Barcelona - Montpellier. Extend the current Alvia service, with stops in Figueres, Girona, Perignan and Narbonne, and with good integration with the TER network
Could be a way to integrate those two regions. You could probably even get a EU subsidy for it for the first years...

When new infrastructure removes old geographical obstacles there is an opportunity to integrate formally separated regions. This opportunity was sadly missed when the Channel Tunnel opened, but the Swedes and Danes did grab it when the ěresund link opened.
Catalonia and the Languedoc have this opportunity now.
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Old August 15th, 2014, 10:44 AM   #2565
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I think major concern for British Home Office are not other Europeans from Romania or Bulgaria, but instead people from elsewhere in Asia and AFrica that try to reach UK via France. Just take a look at the irregular forest camps in Calais, full of people trying to smuggle themselves into UK.
Yes, for some reason UK is seen as more of a "promised land" than France.
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Old August 15th, 2014, 10:44 AM   #2566
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I wonder if there would be a good uptake of a regional service Barcelona - Montpellier. Extend the current Alvia service, with stops in Figueres, Girona, Perignan and Narbonne, and with good integration with the TER network
Could be a way to integrate those two regions. You could probably even get a EU subsidy for it for the first years...
All for it, K, but this would not be something so new. There used to be several daily Talgos between Montpellier and Barcelona. The only difference now is of course the time saved by the HSR across the border and the gauge change, which did not take that long actually.
As for the justification of UK isolationism: I think people in the UK as well as the Schengen zone had better wake up to the fact that we live in a part of the world with some serious problems in it: the wars in Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, Palestine/Israel, very unequal distribution of economic opportunities between Europe and Africa, etc. As long as these continue to exist, there will be refugees. Pretending they do not exist or letting some states like Lebanon and Turkey deal with millions of them while the whole EU has not even taken in 100,000 Syrian refugees does not solve anything. There is need for an attitude change, for a more global approach and helping those in need wherever they are, not more wishful thinking. This is getting off topic, but I did not want to let those statements above stand alone.
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Old August 15th, 2014, 10:51 AM   #2567
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As for the justification of UK isolationism: I think people in the UK as well as the Schengen zone had better wake up to the fact that we live in a part of the world with some serious problems in it: the wars in Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, Palestine/Israel, very unequal distribution of economic opportunities between Europe and Africa, etc. As long as these continue to exist, there will be refugees. Pretending they do not exist or letting some states like Lebanon and Turkey deal with millions of them while the whole EU has not even taken in 100,000 Syrian refugees does not solve anything.
It solves a lot: it leaves the serious problems as the problems of the refugees, and limits the problems they cause to Schengen area.
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Old August 15th, 2014, 11:43 AM   #2568
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Well, yes, if one thinks in egoistic and short-term ways. But if you use your obviously limited brain to think in a bit more broad way, things are a bit different. Dumping a refugee population almost the size of the local population on Lebanon is seriously destabilizing the country. Also, leaving Greece, Bulgaria, and regions such as southern Spain and southern Italy to deal with refugees alone causes a serious pressure on the poorest members of the EU. Germany, Great Britain, France and the other larger and richer members of the union will have to help these countries, otherwise sometime sooner than you think, with no country in the Middle East willing to cooperate with European interests and the southern European states no longer caring to be the foot soldiers in a fortress that serves the interests mostly of Northern Europe, they will simply wave them on through.
You cannot wish away migration or war, and the sooner the rich countries in Europe, who can much more easily deal with some degree of immigration, face up to their responsibility, the better.
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Old August 15th, 2014, 11:52 AM   #2569
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First of all how about avoiding personal attacks?

Second this is a problem without a good solution. Certainly bigger and richer countries ought to do more, but it's also true that accepting everyone who'd like to come is impossible (European population would double overnight) so it has been made difficult and dangerous. It's the least bad choice at the moment… One option would be to provide refugees who have reached EU already free movement within the union, but then they'd all gravitate to 3-4 richer countries (UK in particular due to language) and it's understandable that they aren't wild about that idea. It's the same in North America, they can absorb a fair amount of immigrants but not all who would like to come.
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Old August 15th, 2014, 12:05 PM   #2570
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You cannot wish away migration or war, and the sooner the rich countries in Europe, who can much more easily deal with some degree of immigration, face up to their responsibility, the better.
You cannot wish away war, but you can win it, provided you are able to carry the costs and inflict casualties. Stopping or reversing migration also takes costs, and willingness to inflict casualties.
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Old August 15th, 2014, 12:25 PM   #2571
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I am sorry, but I do not believe your peace of mind is worth the lives of hundreds of people who drown in the Mediterranean every year. I think you people have to relax and stop associating every migrant with a doomsday scenario. People predicted that once Poles had visa-waivers Western civilization and prosperity would end. Then they predicted the same for Romanians. Bosnians war refugees came, some stayed, but many went back or moved on. The same will be the case for Syrian and Iraqi refugees of the present wars. And as far as "winning" wars is concerned, I believe the mess we have in Iraq now is because a former American president believed he could win a war by dropping a few bombs on the country and that would solve things. It takes more patience, diplomacy, and real dedication to resolve these crises we face now.
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Old August 15th, 2014, 01:09 PM   #2572
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I see no doomsday either way, but no country is able and willing to accept everyone who wants to move there. Your country wherever it is is no exception. That's just a fact…
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Old August 15th, 2014, 01:10 PM   #2573
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I see no doomsday either way, but no country is able and willing to accept everyone who wants to move there.
Countries where few people want to move are able to accept everyone who does.
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Old August 15th, 2014, 01:38 PM   #2574
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I live in Germany, certainly a country which has been at the heart of creating the Fortress Europe. However, attitudes here have changed and in Berlin it is actually citizens who have lent broad support to a camp of refugees that had migrated via Lampedusa to here. Left to the authorities, they would have been deported to Italy, which could have deported them to Libya, straight back into a civil war, where they would have been an easy target as sub-Saharan Africans. However, due to the broad popular support to these people, the Berlin senate agreed to thoroughly investigate possibilities of giving them some form of residence.
People all over Europe are starting to think in more global and human rights terms, and I believe the sooner the better.
This is not the same as completely liberalizing immigration. It is just about meeting the demands of international law and basic human rights. War refugees have a right to protection and any human decency demands that people should avoid the perilous circumstances they have to go through for it.
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Old August 15th, 2014, 03:01 PM   #2575
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I live in Germany, certainly a country which has been at the heart of creating the Fortress Europe. However, attitudes here have changed and in Berlin it is actually citizens who have lent broad support to a camp of refugees that had migrated via Lampedusa to here. Left to the authorities, they would have been deported to Italy, which could have deported them to Libya, straight back into a civil war, where they would have been an easy target as sub-Saharan Africans. However, due to the broad popular support to these people, the Berlin senate agreed to thoroughly investigate possibilities of giving them some form of residence.
People all over Europe are starting to think in more global and human rights terms, and I believe the sooner the better.
This is not the same as completely liberalizing immigration. It is just about meeting the demands of international law and basic human rights. War refugees have a right to protection and any human decency demands that people should avoid the perilous circumstances they have to go through for it.
I really hope the view that EU has to 'take more refugees' will not prevail.

Let's not forget that Africa is a continent with over 1 billion people in it. Europe cannot, should not and hopefully will not try to take any more of them. Europe (or any other country or bloc for that matter) cannot sort everyone's problems by just giving a refuge.

Those problems should indeed be addressed with a broader view and in a more global manner. Which is why instead of just talking of 'human rights' and 'perilous conditions' they should be talking of contraception, birth control, education and sustainable living environment in sub Saharan Africa. Otherwise the refugees from 'perilous conditions' will keep coming. Which is why we should be talking of how to eliminate those conditions there in the first place. Education in family planning and education in general could be the starting points.

There is one somewhat controversial but fundamentally very successful example how it could work: China's one child policy which is counting its last days.
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Old August 15th, 2014, 03:24 PM   #2576
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I think major concern for British Home Office are not other Europeans from Romania or Bulgaria, but instead people from elsewhere in Asia and AFrica that try to reach UK via France. Just take a look at the irregular forest camps in Calais, full of people trying to smuggle themselves into UK.
The Eastern European lot are always those targeted in the news when they need to target a group of immigrants.
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Yes, for some reason UK is seen as more of a "promised land" than France.
I'm not sure, I think sometimes they think that employment opportunities are better in the UK for some reason, and maybe that if they don't get a job they'll get benefits? My family think it's because healthcare over here is free at the point of use but that's just because the tabloids like sensationalist headlines about health tourism which is really not much of an issue.
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I live in Germany, certainly a country which has been at the heart of creating the Fortress Europe. However, attitudes here have changed and in Berlin it is actually citizens who have lent broad support to a camp of refugees that had migrated via Lampedusa to here. Left to the authorities, they would have been deported to Italy, which could have deported them to Libya, straight back into a civil war, where they would have been an easy target as sub-Saharan Africans. However, due to the broad popular support to these people, the Berlin senate agreed to thoroughly investigate possibilities of giving them some form of residence.
People all over Europe are starting to think in more global and human rights terms, and I believe the sooner the better.
This is not the same as completely liberalizing immigration. It is just about meeting the demands of international law and basic human rights. War refugees have a right to protection and any human decency demands that people should avoid the perilous circumstances they have to go through for it.
Germany is defintaly seen over here as the key country in the Eurozone, it was one of the top few stories on the BBC last night that the German economy shrunk by 0.2% or something. When people are being sent back into war torn countries that's when I think we have a responsibility to help the people.
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Old August 15th, 2014, 03:48 PM   #2577
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After this summer, how many train will run per day between Barcelona and Montpelier/Perpignan?
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Old August 15th, 2014, 04:59 PM   #2578
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dear Pansori, yes, there are 1 billion Africans and nearly as many Europeans (ca. 750,000). On the other hand, the Europeans have a GDP of 24.4 trillion Dollars, whereas all Africans together amount to only 2.6 trillion. Such harsh differences in relatively close proximity in the global age are bound to cause reactions.
I am all for targeting problems at the roots, and development, a fairer global trade order and some kind of compensation for the legacy of colonialism would help. As for lowering birth rates, this is usually more the effect than the cause of growing wealth. After all, most of Western Europe is more intensely populated than Africa due to the enormous demographic growth of the 19th century.
Suburbanist, thanks for getting us back on topic. I checked and found 4 trains bookable per day in autumn. I guess that is the 2 Paris trains, the Marseille train, but the Toulouse train should not pass Montpellier, so I am a bit puzzled by the route of that train.
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Old August 15th, 2014, 05:13 PM   #2579
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I'm not sure, I think sometimes they think that employment opportunities are better in the UK for some reason, and maybe that if they don't get a job they'll get benefits? My family think it's because healthcare over here is free at the point of use but that's just because the tabloids like sensationalist headlines about health tourism which is really not much of an issue.
I was born in Latvia and the dominant reason why people from my country favour UK and Ireland over other EU countries is the language. Everybody has learned at least some minimum in school. Scandinavia is also popular because you can get away with just English for a while and Germany because that language is also taught in schools (not as early as English). Very few Latvians know languages other than Russia, English and German so moving elsewhere is more challenging.

I haven't heard of benefits or healthcare being a major concern. It's all about employment opportunities, salaries and the existing support network (friends or relatives already there).
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Old August 15th, 2014, 06:50 PM   #2580
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The Eastern European lot are always those targeted in the news when they need to target a group of immigrants.
Because if they're white, it's alright.
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