The migrant crisis in Europe has now reached historic proportions. Unwilling to secure EU’s borders and coastline, the European leaders have surrounded their foreign policy to human traffickers and people smugglers. Among all the EU member states, Greece has been worst hit by the influx of migrants on its shores. According to United Nation’s figures, the number of refugees entering into Greece has gone up a whopping 750 percent compared to last year.
Margaret Wente explains the motivation of the refugees swarming the Greek islands in her column for The Globe and Mail:
The moment these people set foot on Greek soil, or are rescued by the coast guard, they’ve won the lottery. They can’t be deported unless they have applied for asylum and been rejected – and that can take years. Nor can they be returned to any place that is deemed unsafe. Because continental Europe has no internal border controls, they can go wherever they want. And if they don’t report for their asylum hearing, the system can easily lose track of them.
In July 2015 alone, more than 50,000 migrants landed on Greek beaches. That means, more migrants entered Greece last month than in the whole of 2014. The influx could not have come at a worse time for the Hellenic Republic, almost on the verge of a financial collapse.
In the face of mounting crisis in Greece, EU bureaucrats and leaders are acting clueless and pleading helplessness.
This however is the crisis of Europe’s own making. The vast majority of those entering Europe illegally through land and sea are economic migrants – seeking a better life in a “Welfare Paradise.” As far as Greece is concerned, that party is long over. Feeling short changed, the migrants in Greece and other European cities have repeatedly turned to violence or clashed with police in recent day.
The law enforcement in Greece is inadequately equipped to cope with the rapidly deteriorating situation. Even before the refugee crisis began, majority of Greece’s prison population comprised of foreigners. In 2013, more than 60 percent of those under detention in Greece were of foreign origin.
In unfolding the migrant crisis, European Union faces an even greater existential crisis. The Greek debt default has already strained the relationship between Greece and other European countries. The refugee crisis is now putting that strained relationship through a new stress test.
Dictates of European bureaucrats to create a single asylum policy for EU has found no takers so far. EU wants its member states to share the burden of incoming migrant population but faces stiff opposition from many European governments. Taking in more migrants is politically an unpopular move for any European leader nowadays. After decades of preaching “liberal humanism” to the world, Europe is finally finding out — when its own shin is at stake — it isn’t so liberal after all.
Euro News reports on migrant crisis in Greece:DONATE
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