Nearly half of Algeria's young men want to migrate illegally to Europe


Algerians massively seek to migrate

“We will conquer your country with the bellies of our women” update

Houari Boumédienne said in a U.N. speech 1974: “One day, millions of men will leave the Southern Hemisphere to go to the Northern Hemisphere. And they will not go there as friends. Because they will go there to conquer it. And they will conquer it with their sons. The wombs of our women will give us victory.”

* Getting rid of the French was easy. Building a functioning state is not: after the vilified French “Pieds noirs” left the Algeriennes to ‘independence’ (1962) Algeria achieved nothing on its own. Algeria became, like much of Islamiyah, a failed state. The inevitable Civil War was an armed conflict between the Algerian government and various Islamist rebel groups which began in 1991. It is estimated to have cost  200,000 lives. French speaking, Algeria’s youth is looking to invade Europe.

Not to get out of poverty, mind you; but with the intention to conquer it.

The tiny island of Lampedusa off Sicily’s coast, for instance, received 12,169 migrants last year and more than 28,000 so far this year, IOM says. Chauzy said 600 people arrived in Lampedusa on Friday alone.

ALGIERS, Algeria: Nearly half of Algeria’s young men want to migrate illegally to Europe, a poll published Wednesday suggests, illustrating the social unease of this North African nation.

The poll, published by the independent daily Liberte, showed that 49.5 percent of Algerian men aged 15 to 34 wanted to immigrate illegally in countries such as Britain.

Half of these said they were “certain” they’d try to leave. The second half said it was “likely” they would attempt to reach Europe, despite the risks linked to crossing the Mediterranean Sea in a flimsy boat.

More than 80 percent of those wanting out cited “fleeing the country” and “building a future” as their motive to migrate, the newspaper said. It reported that four out of five Algerians knew of someone who had already left without the required passports or visas, or was soon planning to do so. University graduates were more likely to want to leave than those lacking education, the poll found.

The poll was conducted in early November by two experts who previously worked for the National Office of Statistics. It was based on face-to-face interviews with 1,364 young men across 14 regions that make up Algeria’s Mediterranean coastline — the most populous zone in the country. No margin of error was given, but it would be plus or minus three percentage points for a poll of that size.

Most respondents said Britain would be their favorite final destination because, they claimed, residence permits are easiest to get there.

Illegal emigration, know in Algeria as “harraga,” has become a national issue in recent years, with near-daily reports of boats leaving for nearby Spain or Italy carrying illegal immigrants. Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika even appealed to the country’s youth not to leave their homeland during a national address last month.

There are no exact figures of how many people migrate illegally from Africa to Europe, but tens of thousands are thought to attempt the journey each year. Most observers consider the trend to be on the rise, but the poll published Wednesday was one of the first to try to quantify the phenomenon.

“We wanted to show how big of a social problem it has become,” Liberte’s editor, Salim Tamani, said by telephone. He said the poll also highlights how Europe’s tougher new anti-immigration policies backfired by creating a need to migrate illegally.

Officials at Algeria’s Ministry of Solidarity, which follows social affairs, declined to comment.

More than 80 percent of those wanting out cited “fleeing the country” and “building a future” as their motive to migrate, the newspaper said.

Algeria is used to its citizens leaving legally by airplane for France, its former colonial ruler. But hordes of idle youth — jobless despite the country’s oil and gas wealth — are taking to the high seas in a desperate escape.

Jean-Philippe Chauzy, a spokesman for the Geneva-based International Organization for Migration, said the new poll did not distinguish between those who want to leave and those who actually would make the perilous sea journey.

However, several crossing points in the Mediterranean have seen a growing influx.

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