Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The immigration crisis in Europe is getting worse. 10,000 migrants stuck on Greek border. AP

Iraqi and Syrian men protesting the closure of the border. AP.

10,000 migrants are stuck in Greece as the European migrant crisis grows worse. AP. A new tent city has arisen on the Greece-Macedonia border after Macedonia stopped accepting refugees. The closure happened after many other EU countries, including Austria, closed their borders and instituted caps on how many refugees they will accept. Greece is furious with the move and are calling for humanitarian aid to be delivered. Greece expects as many as 100,000 migrants to be stranded in the country if conditions don't change. Macedonia closed their border after migrants attacked and attempted to cross into the country illegally. The country has detained around 70 illegal immigrants from Pakistan and wish to deport them back to Greece, but Greece will not accept them. Greece has also started to deport a small number of economic migrants from Africa. 

My Comment:
The European migrant crisis is still going on and will probably get much, much worse as time passes. Winter is almost over and as the temperatures warm, even more migrants will attempt to make the passage to rich countries like Sweden and Germany. Last year more one million people entered Europe, claiming asylum. Most of these people were granted it, or were simply allowed in anyways. People from all over the world think that Europe's doors are wide open and anyone seeking a better life or easy money will come. I wouldn't be surprised if the number of new migrants passes two million by the end of 2016. 

Of course this is an utter disaster for Europe. The economic strain alone from housing, feeding and educating these migrants will cost countless billions of Euros. Europe doesn't have enough money to take care of the migrants they have already, let alone a million more of them. And these migrants will contribute very little to the economy. They won't be able to work, not at first, and in the meantime they will be a huge drain on every aspect of the economy until they learn the local language and customs. That is assuming that they ever assimilate at all. If they don't then they will never be anything other then a new permanent European underclass, displacing the native Europeans unlucky enough to be on the lower rungs of the economic ladder. 

And they will bring crime and violence, with the possibility of terrorism, with them as well. We all saw what happened in Cologne on New Years Eve, and College was simply the incident that made the news the most. All across Europe, citizens were robbed, groped and even raped by these migrants, and there is evidence that at least some of the attackers in last years huge terror attacks in Paris came in with the migrants. ISIS could very easily send in terrorists but even if they don't the behavior of these young men (and the vast majority of them are young men) has been almost as bad as the terrorists anyways. 

Given the economic, national security and cultural consequences, is it any wonder that Eastern Europe is trying to close their doors? Not all of these countries are wealthy and they simply can't afford to open the floodgates, even if the vast majority of migrants are going to Germany and Sweden. They still pass through these countries and some of them even stay. That's a hard pill to swallow for people already suffering economically. Closing the borders make sense, and I am surprised it took them this long to do so. 

Greece is the one that is suffering the most right now though. Their economy is a basket case as it is, and they simply can't afford to house 100,000 migrants. Why not deport them? Well, I am sure they would like to, but that costs a lot of money as well, money the Greek government does not have. Remember, this is a country that almost destroyed the EU's economy in the last couple of years. They don't have a well run government. They are completely out of their depth dealing with a crisis that would be hard for a functioning government to handle... 

I'd also like to point out how bad of a partner Turkey is in this situation. They have the ability to stem the tide of refugees coming from Syria, and to a lesser extent, Iraq, but they are not closing their borders with those countries. Indeed, they seem to welcome these refugees and are more then happy to send them to Europe. 

Why? Because they want Europe to support their war against the Kurds and help to overthrow Bashar al-Assad's government. The Turkish government hates the Kurds more then anything else and want to bring them to heel. To accomplish that goal, they see no problem with setting Europe on fire. The Turks are using the refugee waves as a weapon against Europe, and I wonder if the Europeans even understand that fact.  

Of course the European Union deserves the lion's share of the blame for this debacle. Germany and Sweden opened the doors to migrants, in a misguided attempt to reverse low birth rates. Both countries have aging populations and are well below the replacement rate when it comes to births. Both countries also have generous welfare and social programs that they will not be able to pay for unless they have a large, young workforce. Instead of encouraging young Germans and Swedes to have children, they opened their doors to migrants. I don't know about you, but I think encouraging young people to have children would have been a better way to go about it... 

I am really starting to believe that there will be no happy ending for this crisis. The best case scenario is that the EU breaks up and countries start deporting these migrants en masse. That seems almost impossible right now, especially with no safe place to deport them to, and even if that happens, Germany, Sweden and France are unlikely to go along with it. The middle scenario is that Europe is wracked with unrest, violence and terrorism as these migrants realize that Europe isn't the paradise they were promised. The worst case scenario, and one I am starting to find much more likely, is an all out war. Either between the pro and anti immigration countries in the EU or between the native Europeans and the Muslim migrants. It might take a decade or two to erupt, but it certainly seems like it is coming. Either way, Europe is in serious trouble and I don't know what can even be done at this point. 

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