The news from Greece is heartbreaking.
And we’re not talking about the austerity enforced on the Greek population for financial reasons. It’s about time they realised that a modern state cannot work without efficient, transparent and fair tax systems. And some IT solutions – as long as they use them, the foundations for a modern state are at hand.
No, we are referring to the increasing number of refugees coming via Turkey into the EU.
They are primarily from the well-structured society that Syria was before it became engulfed in a complex civil war that has left around 300,000 dead over the last five years, and up to 11 million people displaced in and outside the country.
Mostly a blend of Turks, Kurds and Arabs (Shia and Sunni Muslims) – the UN estimates there are more refugees at any given time since the end of the Second World War.
Out of touch
In the recent past we have seen Danish politicians falling over their own legs attempting to come up with restrictions to prevent the refugees from reaching us.
In contrast, local initiatives welcome our new neighbours to Danish surroundings. Meanwhile, our tourists travel to Greece with clothes to give to the poor people landing from makeshift boats with nothing but the ones they’re standing in.
We are of the opinion that Danish politicians are out of touch with the general feeling among the population. They are failing at integrating refugees into our society.
We need to give them jobs so they can care for themselves, and we need to put their children into school. We already have more than 30 international schools in Denmark and many of the refugees are bringing their own teachers from back home.
Equipped to succeed
Unemployment in southern Europe is hampering their efforts there, but in the north we should be able to accomplish integration, and do it smartly.
We cannot have them all but we could certainly have a lot more.
They already speak some English, so we should use that as the stepping stone. In the service industries, English is the common language anyway. Try walking down Strøget in Copenhagen using purely Danish and you’ll quickly understand.
A smart handling of this unavoidable problem is to consider it a blessing in disguise.
Let it add to our GNP growth, add to cultural diversity and make the poor people feel that they are welcome.
So if the general population can do it, then why not the politicians?