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Opinion
Europe witnessing massive migration from Syria
EU nations differ on tackling refugees’ crisis
From Arun Srivastava
European Union has been facing the worst refugee crisis since the Second World War. The situation has deteriorated to such an extent that while the German chancellor Angela Markel has cautioned that the European Union could be forced to bring back border controls, the demographic character of Britain will undergo a major change with the population likely to soar by 21 million due to rise in migrant influx.

Britain's think-tank Population Matters claims that it is going to get a lot more difficult for people living in Britain, which is already one of the EU's most densely populated countries. With huge population shift due to migration, Britain will overtake France and Germany to become the most populated country in Europe in future.

Even the United Nations acknowledged that EU authorities were unable to cope with the refugees influx from countries like Syria, who are seeking to move to prosperous Germany, Sweden and Britain. Europe's Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramapoulos, who is Greek, said that the situation in Greece was "particularly urgent," adding that it would be an "understatement to describe as challenging."

Greece has been flooded with refugees and economic migrants, mostly from Syria with more than 125,000 of them reaching the eastern Aegean islands this year, a 750 percent increase compared to 2014.The International Organization for Migration (IOM) announced Friday that the number of migrants and asylum seekers who have been arriving in Europe is approaching a quarter-million this year. The E U expressed its intent Friday to fast-track new funding to help Greece cope with the wave of migrants. In addition to funds, the EU has also proposed a relocation system to transfer 16,000 people in need of international protection from Greece to other EU member states.

This migration has been worst also for the reason that this has enraged the local people and they have turned hostile to the refugees. The local people are scared that the migrants would endanger the cultural and social ethos of EU. Letters bearing these feelings have already started finding space even in the dailies. This migration is worse because the migrants are not Christian Europeans, they are Congolese, Syrian and Iraqi, Libyan and Malian. They share nothing with Europeans except the desire for a better life. After WWII cities all over Europe needed rebuilding, there was a labor shortage and everyone was at least European. What stares at EU now is a future cultural catastrophe masquerading as a humanitarian effort. There is apprehension that future governments elected will look nothing like the liberal governments of today.

The Germans also allege that Britain is not bearing its fair share of the burden of migrants. As an EU member it is obligated to act like a member of a union. If it doesn't like it, then it should get out. If it wants the privileges, then it should share the responsibilities and burdens that go with them. There is a feeling that Europe is accepting a changing face with both hands tied behind its back. They even argue; ' If they didn't help the US in starting the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and helped in bombarding Libya and killing Qaddafi, and helped in supporting the overthrow of Assad in Syria, none of the millions of migrants would be coming to Europe? .. It'll be many many years before the European migrant problems can be resolved, even if the wars end?

The intensity of the migration could be assessed from a single incident that by the side of a road in Austria, 71 people, believed to be Syrian, lost their lives in a refrigerated food lorry. Among them were four children, three of them aged between eight and 10 years old. The safe passage for which their parents paid the traffickers turned out to death sentence. Despite the risks, the people - the refugees and economic migrants - keep coming to Europe in ever rising numbers. Already this year an estimated 300,000 refugees and illegal migrants have made the journey into Europe, an increase of 80,000 or so on the total for 2014.

Chancellor Angela Merkel told the German people that she expects the country to take another 800,000 migrants and she has urged other countries to do similar. She categorically told that Germany wasn't responsible for the growing crisis as thousands of migrants try to board trains to the country from Hungary. In fact Hungarian government has blamed a German decision to suspend EU asylum rules for asylum-seekers fleeing the civil war. However Merkel rejected the criticism. Syrians were likely to be granted asylum in Germany, she said, but added: "That should come as no surprise. Actually, it should be the same in every European country.

The migration has been compounded by the crime syndicates. With the motto to make some fast buck they have been smuggling the migrants to Germany. It is feared that the Balkans are now the centre of Europe's people smuggling web. Only a day after 71 people suffocated in a chicken lorry, three children were rescued from a crammed truck in Austria. All had been on a road route controlled by criminal gangs. So terribly decomposed were their corpses that passersby noticed putrid liquid dripping from the air-tight interior once used for transporting frozen chicken. Inside, police found no air vents. Between January and July this year, 102,342 people crossed into Austria via the western Balkans, more than 10,000 higher than the total who entered Europe via the so-called "central Mediterranean" route, according to Frontex, the EU border control agency.

The latest intelligence assessment of criminality in the western Balkans - an area with a well-known history of violence, instability and organised crime - is worrying. It is now beyond doubt that some of the region's established criminal syndicates have moved into migrant smuggling. A third of the 130 ongoing Europol investigations into people smuggling are, according to the Observer, linked to criminal gangs that have previously had form for drug trafficking, supplying girls to the sex trade or money laundering. On Friday the agency said it had now identified 3,000 serious players linked to people-smuggling in Europe, including a number of Britons.

Police evacuated Budapest's main station as huge crowds of migrants tried to get on trains. Many of the migrants are Syrian and want to get to Germany, which has said it will not send them back under EU rules, but will process their claims itself. With Europe's great migration under way, and globalisation and air travel making mobility easier, it would be naive to believe that the British government can or should make the UK a fortress and stop refugees from entering the country.

Those fleeing Syria, for instance, have to pay a fee of around $1,000 (£649) to squeeze into an inflatable dinghy for the short passage from the Turkish coast to nearby Greek islands.. Inside Macedonia, migrants pay, on average, $500 to smugglers to navigate the country using off-road routes to Serbia, a journey that can take 10 days. Many are "led through the forests" by their guides. Investigators for Amnesty International documented a grim pilgrimage. "Walking through all weathers, over mountains and wading through rivers, sometimes without food and water for days on end, the challenges are immense. Exhaustion, pain and hunger take both a physical and a psychological toll. For the migrants, journey to Germany and other developed western nations is the road for hope.

—(IPA Service)


News Updated at : Sunday, September 6, 2015
 
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