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Politaki, Alexandra

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El Huffington Post - Spain | 03/12/2014

Alexandra Politaki warns Europe against cultural inbreeding

Europe is ruining its chances of crucial cultural renewal with its restrictive immigration policy, Greek journalist Alexandra Politaki warns in the left-liberal online paper El Huffington Post: "The great French historian, Fernand Braudel, wrote in his book La Mediterranee that, as regards its foundations, a culture is a geographical area organised by the people and by history. Vital to this process is the exchange of ideas and practices from other cultures. If Braudel is right, what does Europe's response to immigration tell us about European culture today? The short answer is that Europe is showing extreme reluctance to accept 'cultural goods'. It seems that it is currently looking to repulse, crush, and push back anything that is culturally different to what already exists on the continent. Cultural practices that are very different from what it already knows are almost automatically considered undesirable, even if they originate in great, deep, and historical cultures. The extreme version of this approach relates to human beings, who are of course the bearers of culture. If one is not already a European citizen, entry into Europe nowadays can be so hard that it turns into a matter of life or death."

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