|FOR WORLD SOCIALISM|
Photographs of Aylan Kurdi’s dead body on the beach has faded from memory. Since then, more recent pictures of dead children no longer feature in the media. The European refugee crisis is part of a global refugee crisis that won’t go away. The number of displaced people worldwide in 2015 — was 60 million — the highest ever. Global migration is also here to stay. There are an estimated 232 million international migrants. People move as economies and trade become more and more interconnected. Europe will continue to attract young individuals and families from North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, in addition to those who have fled war and dictatorships and are living in poverty in refugee settlements.
Bishop Amvrosios of Kalavryta in the Peloponnese, a leading cleric, said that refugees are not welcome to stay in Greece, because their customs and religion are "incompatible" with the norms of the native population. "We are not compatible. Our customs are incompatible. We do not like their culture. We do not accept their religion. We do not want to bow down to the cunning tricks and evil plans of the Big Men of this world who seek to destroy Greece."
The public has seemingly accepted that there is no more room in Europe, seemingly accepting the EU’s policy even though it is killing people. At least 3,500 people died trying to cross the sea in 2015. People are unaware that there are 500,000,000 EU citizens. Accepting 1,000,000 new refugees adds only 0.2% to the current population.
The EU’s position on refugees is, in essence, little different from Donald Trump’s declaration that he will ‘build a big beautiful wall’. The EU has already built its razor-wire fences, it has positioned war-ships at sea to turn back refugee and pay Turkey billions of euros to halt refugees from fleeing to safety. The U.N. refugee agency UNHCR, Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF) and the Norwegian Refugee Council have withdrawn co-operation claiming the EU-Turkey deal has turned humanitarian refugee camps into militarised detention facilities. The International Rescue Committee will not transport refugees to the closed facility at Moria. “We cannot knowingly participate in the transportation of some of the world’s most vulnerable to a place where their freedom of movement is in question.”
Marie Elisabeth Ingres, MSF’s head mission in Greece explained after a deal struck last week between EU states and Turkey to force migrants and asylum seekers to return from Greek islands to Turkey. “We will not allow our assistance to be instrumentalised for a mass expulsion operation and we refuse to be part of a system that has no regard for the humanitarian or protection needs of asylum seekers and migrants.”
Turkey simply isn't a safe country for refugees. Turkish law forbids Iraqis and Afghans from obtaining refugee status, which means if citizens of those countries are sent to Turkey — as the terms of this deal would require — they could be deported to Iraq or Afghanistan, where they would face persecution. Amnesty International accused Turkey of deporting a group of approximately 30 Afghan asylum seekers to Kabul on the same day the EU-Turkey deal was announced, highlighting the degree to which Turkey is a dangerous place for refugees. "The ink wasn’t even dry on the EU-Turkey deal when several dozen Afghans were forced back to a country where their lives could be in danger," Amnesty's Europe and Central Asia director John Dalhuisen said.
It is clear that the solution to the refugee crisis is to integrate the millions of able-bodied people who are eager to work and get on with their lives in peace. Many of whom will return to their home countries if the current wars ever end. But Britain and the EU are only interested in building walls and sealing the seas. European Union leaders agreed in May last year to relocate 40,000 refugees from Greece and Italy within the EU; in September the bloc upped this number to 160,000. As of March 22, a mere 953 Syrian, Eritrean and Iraqi refugees had been relocated under this “solidarity scheme.” Certain EU have only reluctantly agreed to participate and since the Brussels atrocity Poland has announced that they are reneging upon their pledge to accept 5000 refugees. The terror attack is a convenient excuse to halt the pending arrivals of people that nationalist Polish politicians have accused of bringing in "possible epidemics" and “all kinds of parasites, which are not dangerous in their own countries, but which could prove dangerous for the local populations"