Turkey’s foreign minister didn’t mince words.
He recently said that Europe’s politicians are “taking Europe toward an abyss.”
He added, “Soon religious wars will break out in Europe. That’s the way it’s going.”
This was not an idle warning from a fringe politician. In fact, the Turkish minister is in a unique position to understand where Europe’s migrant crisis is headed.
Turkey plays a critical role in this crisis. In many ways, it holds the European Union’s very life in its hands.
As I write, Turkey is threatening to destroy the European Union (EU). This could all start in a matter of days.
In recent years, over 1.5 million migrants from Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia have flooded into Europe. It’s already one of the largest mass migrations in history. But it’s just getting started. At least 2 million more migrants are bottled up in Turkey. There are millions more in Africa.
Most of these migrants are unskilled. They don’t share the same race, religion, or culture of most Europeans. Few speak the language of their new countries. Almost all of them end up on welfare, further draining already bankrupt European states.
This is where Turkey holds the key to the EU’s future…
Turkey’s relationship with the EU recently hit new lows. The Turkish government has threatened to open the migrant floodgates… just in time to tip the scales for anti-EU candidate Marine Le Pen in France’s presidential election.
This is all adding up to a historic crisis.
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The unprecedented flow of migrants was the deciding factor in the Brexit vote. It was also the big issue behind the defeat of the Italian referendum last December that forced Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to resign—both events I predicted correctly.
The migrant crisis is fueling the rise of anti-EU populist parties all over Europe. It is the No. 1 political issue on the Continent right now.
In short, the migrant crisis is accelerating the collapse of the European Union.
It’s a simple relationship. The more migrants that arrive in Europe, the more popular anti-EU political parties become, and the weaker the EU itself becomes.
Now Turkey is threatening to dramatically escalate the migrant crisis.
Turkey is a major transit point for migrants headed to Europe. The Turkish government doesn’t want the 2 million or so migrants stuck in Turkey to stick around. So it has little reason to keep them from leaving for Europe.
This gives Turkey leverage with the EU. The Turks have essentially said, “Give us what we want or we’ll open the floodgates.”
What the Turks want is a lot of money.
Last year, Brussels partially gave in to the blackmail—to the tune of $6 billion. In return, the Turks agreed to stop migrants from illegally entering Europe.
This arrangement worked for a while. But recent tensions between the EU and Turkey have reached a boiling point.
The EU has started to harshly criticize Turkey for eroding democracy and the rule of law. This is no way to make friends.
Turkey has responded by calling European officials “Nazis” and “fascists.” It’s the most serious breakdown in ties in recent memories.
It’s actually incredibly stupid for the Europeans to pick a needless fight with Turkey. They know Turkey could quickly and easily flood Europe with millions of more unwelcome migrants.
Turkey’s deputy prime minister recently said:
Europe has not kept its promises on the migrant deal, for us that agreement has ended.
Then Turkey’s interior minister threatened to “blow the mind” of Europe by sending 15,000 migrants a month into the EU. Many European countries have already absorbed their absolute limit.
Remember, over 2 million migrants are stuck in Turkey. So 15,000 per month seems like a conservative estimate.
In any case, if Turkey sends a new wave of migrants into Europe just before France’s presidential elections, it would seal the EU’s fate. Every single migrant increases the chance that Marine Le Pen, an anti-EU populist, will win.
Then there’s the ISIS factor. Over the past couple of years, ISIS has repeatedly hit France with deadly, horrific attacks. The government seems unable to stop them.
If ISIS or any other group attacks France again before the election—especially if migrants are involved—it would all but ensure a Le Pen victory.
This election is effectively an existential test for the EU. Given the stakes, it might be tempting for ISIS (or someone else) to deliver a pre-election surprise.
So, why should Americans or anyone outside of Europe care?
The EU is the world’s largest economy.
The euro currency is the second most widely held currency in the world.
Financial chaos in Europe means financial chaos worldwide.
The Financial Times commented on what would happen if the EU were to collapse:
It would probably lead to the most violent economic shock in history, dwarfing the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy in 2008 and the 1929 Wall Street crash.
But first, let me explain why this situation is so urgent.
Brexit and the Italian referendum were body blows to the European Union.
Trump’s surprise win was another big hit. He’s the first US president since WW2 who doesn’t support European integration.
Trump said Brexit would “end up being a great thing.”
He also thinks the EU will unravel further. He believes “others will leave.”
Trump knows the migrant crisis is speeding this up. He’s said:
People, countries want their own identity and the UK wanted its own identity… I do think keeping it together is not gonna be as easy as a lot of people think. And I think this: if refugees keep pouring into different parts of Europe… I think it’s gonna be very hard to keep it together, because people are angry about it.
Now Europe’s populists are moving in for the deathblow.
France’s May 7 presidential election could end the EU and the euro currency.
Marine Le Pen is a French nationalist. Think of her as a French Donald Trump. In fact, she was the first foreign politician to congratulate Trump on his victory.
If Le Pen becomes France’s president, she has promised to take France out of the euro currency. She’s called the euro “a knife stuck in our ribs to make us go where others want us to go.”
Le Pen has a real chance of winning.
This would have earth-shattering consequences.
Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, has said “the eurozone may not survive” if Le Pen wins. That’s putting it mildly.
France isn’t a peripheral member of the eurozone. It is a core member. If Marine Le Pen wins, the euro is doomed.
The euro is the economic glue holding the EU together. Without it, the entire EU won’t survive to the next morning.
The migrant issue is the deciding factor in the May 7 French election, just as it was in the Brexit vote and the Italian referendum.
Until next time,
Senior Editor, International Man
Editor’s Note: There’s more turmoil ahead as French voters decide the EU’s fate this Sunday—and it could be catastrophic for global currency and stock markets.
We expect the fallout to be far worse than 2008.
Most investors can’t handle that sort of chaos. But Doug Casey and his team know how to turn it into huge profits. They’re sharing need-to-know information about the coming global economic meltdown in this time-sensitive video. Click here to watch it now.