Migrant crisis to be solved at home
E DII TO RII A L
It is strange how everybody has only now jumped onto the ‘migrant’ bandwagon, calling for “something to be done”, when the problem had been staring us in the face for the past many years. As the ability to accommodate ten times more economic refugees than ever before, the humanitarian support systems have failed, while no one is talking about solving the root of the problem.
On the one hand, EU member states with developed economies that are enjoying a boom in exports (Germany, northern Europe), have seen their unemployment levels drop below the psychological level of 5% and in some German towns even below 2%. This, in turn, has prompted many to open their doors to cheap migrant workers, the same way as California and Texas tolerate lowcost Mexican labour, because they all have a shortage in workhands. In the same way, many are delighted by the fact that the majority of the Syrian migrants (or voluntary refugees) are the ones who can afford the $6-10,000 per person fee charged by the traffickers. Many of the Syrians have cash, enough to help them settle down with comfort and a number of them are highly educated, suggesting that they will go for semi- and skilled work.
Alas, the same is not true for the refugees from central and northern Africa and other Middle Eastern conflict zones.
As crude as it may sound, even in the drownings and the deaths of migrants packed into trucks, there seems to be a two-tiered standard of have and have-nots, judging from their ability to travel on-land through Turkey, then with small dinghies to Greece and onwards to the Skopje and Serbian borders in an effort to reach western Europe.
It is clear that EU High Commissioner for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini has inherited a humanitarian disaster, compounded by her predecessor’s incompetence to deal or attempt to mediate in regional issues, from Libya to Yemen, from Syria to Iraq.
The EU and the west has clearly failed and has no common foreign policy to deal with these conflicts, where states such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey promote their own petty interests, regardless of the impact their alliances have on the region’s (in)stability. Even Iran is playing a dangerous game by funding or militarily supporting one or another side in order to establish its hegemony in parts of this world.
Northern Europe may be able to afford to open its doors, for now, but the strain is on the southern periphery states where rescue and health services have been stretched beyond their limits, and very often without any funding to support these actions.
For a change, the EU needs to show a common policy and secure political stability in all of the Middle Eastern and northern African conflict areas as too much time was wasted on the Iran nuclear deal, the earlier conclusion of which could have helped contain or even prevent some of today’s conflicts that have blown up beyond control.