A study by British scientists at the University of Heavy and Rare Metals (UHRM) in Wetwank, Yorkshire, found that countries are more likely to reach their recycling targets if they are more lenient towards metal smugglers. The study looked at 23 countries within and outside the European Union (EU) and in all but two cases, their hypothesis was validated by data on the ground. The exceptions were Romania and Turkey. In Romania, it was found that people from the roma community were more efficient than smugglers to informally implement national recycling strategies. In Turkey, it was found that all smuggled metals – in particular gold – were confiscated by Erdogan to strengthen a falling Turkish Lira and so did not count in official statistics.
“Our study sends a strong signal to countries that have national recycling targets or are obliged to implement the Circular Economy Package of the EU. It is more so for countries that are struggling to reach those targets. Letting smugglers to deal with recycling is a win-win strategy. It flourishes local black economy and makes criminals richer. This increases tax revenue and decreases unemployment by means of human trafficking. At the same time, it looks good in national statistics so politicians can brag about it and boost their ratings”, said Olof Smuglesson, project leader.
Sources of The Berlin Group claim that police force in most of the case study countries welcomed the results. In Iceland, police said they can finally focus on things that matter, such as punishing mentally impaired tourists doing off-road driving. In Norway, police welcomed the chance of shifting efforts from smuggling prevention to confiscating Finnish reindeers illegally crossing into the country. Governments seem to have also received the study well, apart from the US, where President Donald Trump tweeted he will impose a 25% import tax for metal smugglers.
After EU parliamentarians were left baffled last week with consternation and uproar because of the coup d’etat of Juncker’s childhood friend Selmayr, the tension in the control room of the EU raised further after rumours that his first policy proposal entails including fidget spinners in the ongoing update of the EU-UN War Innovation Strategy.
Taking advantage of the climate of suspicion towards mainstream media among high-level politicians and – simply – the pressing lack of journalists, The Berlin Group could convince Selmayr for an exclusive interview on the matter.
Mr Selmayr, to start with, how did you come up with this idea?
Actually, I played around already a long time with this idea. It came up to my mind again after reading with pleasure that Season 2 of Westworld is to be shot in Syria [a story previously covered by the Berlin Group – Ed.]. I thought it would be a nice first policy proposal to ease the MPs in the European Parliament, who seem to be seriously concerned about the matter.
Ok. *cough*. Concerned about the matter?
Of course! If there is one thing bringing in money, that’s weapons. France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, …. and many other Member States need this war to get the economy going! Fidget Spinners will be a cost-efficient innovation for the industry, to stay ahead of the Israeli weapon research. By the way, another good example is our new Fidget Big Data Gathering (FBDG) project that we are currently testing in a pilot on migrants arriving in the EU. Only paying Erdogan some money will not be enough anyway to deal with them.
And what about the UK? Does Brexit impact the EU Policy on this matter?
Ah, the British! After all this, we will learn them how to deal with miliatary innovation. They still seem to be thinking they are the center of the world, but the contrary is true! Until now they only seem to be concerned how to regulate advertisements in the subway.
To close this interview, why did you choose this subject for your first policy proposal? Aren’t there other pressing issues to be dealt with, such as climate change?
Climate change? There was a guy in the Commission, Jos Delbeke [until recently DG Climate in the Commission – Ed.] who didn’t stop annoying me with this hoax, therefore I decided with Bro Juncker to get him out. Who will earn money with this anyway? We better spend money on other stuff. So we’ll replace him with an old Italian friend from Juncker who knows how tu run a business [previously DG for Commerce and Free Trade Agreements – Ed.], but we could have also have replaced him with somebody from TV. In the end, we pay better than the average news agency, and at least they know how to communicate!
Thank you Mr Selmayr for this enlightening interview.
In the wake of these events, the IPCC does not seem bothered and continues the work on their next report on the impact of 1.5 °C warming. As pointed out by Röckstrom, they should reach out more. To the Berlin Group for example. Or our partner What The Fuck Just Happened Today.