The refugees and migrants have been there all along. The tragedy between the shores of Libya and Italy shocked us all, but it did not really move the northern European states. They hoped it could be stopped on the shores of Libya.
Meanwhile in Syria more than 2 million displaced people in and outside the war-torn country were waiting for the hostilities to stop. The UN was unable to do anything because of the Russian veto rights.
New dawn for Europe
Now the poor people have given up hope on a speedy change back to normal. Syria is a bomb crater. No production, electricity nor water in many towns – neither healthcare nor education. It’s little surprise they took to the roads.
The EU agreed to take in 40,000. Now they cannot agree on the distribution of 160,000. Germany expects to take in 800,000 over the next 12 months. After that there will be family reunions involving another million or two.
Politicians here and there are getting ready to swallow the austerity measures they have instigated or prepared. All in all, it is the equivalent of less than 1 percent of the EU population on the move, but it will change Europe forever.
Can Hungary handle it?
The national parties that have been growing over the last five years need to realise this cannot be dealt with from isolated corners and that bilateral agreements are not enough when thousands are marching along the motorways with their families and children in tow and all displayed on the
Hungary is back in the limelight again. They broke through the iron curtain in 1956, and now they’ve put it up again! But let’s not over-react: the measures we are seeing there to slow the movement down are mostly illogical. But planning in an orderly fashion is logical.
Signs are generally good
The good thing is that the hearts and minds on the receiving end are positive. People are empathising, particularly those with children, what it must be like trying to find shelter in countries they know hardly anything about.
On top of that, bold politicians are now daring to do their jobs and make a virtue of leadership instead of hiding in dark corners and coming up with austerity measures in the face of the pressure exerted by these desperate families.
Make it work for us
Integration and assimilation is the answer. Given the steadily ageing European population, we will someday hope the refugees and migrants do not want to go back if peace returns to Syria and the Middle East.
One cannot help wondering if the EU’s present handling of the present migrant problem is really part of the solution.