I think that a part of Eastern Europe's concern about Muslim refugees is that a huge number of them--perhaps even the majority of them--simply isn't going to successfully assimilate. I mean, they look at what's happening in Western Europe with the terrorist attacks, Muslim crime, et cetera and don't want the same thing to happen in their own countries.Sid Guttridge wrote: ↑24 Oct 2019 13:43I would suggest that what-if scenarios are only worth serious attention if they were practicable. This one is not.
All the new countries of east/central Europe were hypersensitive about their national identities and their newly won independence. Historically the Poles were an imperial power to many of them and not very welcome, especially in Lithuania, whose ancient capital of Vilnius was already in Polish hands. Latvians were not a strong majority in their own country and the Estonians had no common border with Poland at all.
Just as it was impracticable of Angela Merkel to expect the countries of East/central Europe willingly to accept Middle Eastern immigrants a couple of years ago, because they had only just managed to regain their national sovereignty from the USSR, so it is equally impracticable to expect the Baltic States to voluntarily enlist Polish immigrants after they had only just managed to escape the clutches of Imperial Russia.
Poles, on the other hand, shouldn't have too much problem assimilating other than for the fact that they are Catholics. I mean, culturally speaking, Poles and Balts aren't that different, are they? I do agree with you that Lithuania probably isn't going to want more Poles due to its fear of Polish domination and due to its dispute with Poland over Polish-majority Vilnius, though.
Interestingly enough, there are huge Russian minorities in Latvia and Estonia right now (and a much smaller one in Lithuania that doesn't appear to concern Lithuanians very much) and I suspect that a lot of Latvians and Estonians dislike the fact that a huge part of their countries' populations came into their countries during the half-century that their countries were occupied by the Soviet Union. At least with Polish immigrants in this scenario, the Poles are actually going to be invited into Latvia and Estonia.