EurActiv - Letters to the Editor

Sir,

Regarding ‘EU team sent to Greece to curb ‘alarming’ refugee flow‘:

Cecilia Malmström stated recently “I invite Greece to continue working to enhance the humanitarian situation of migrants and asylum-seekers”.

While Greece is certainly to blame for its government finances, attempting to scapegoat it for the current flood of illegal immigrants across the EU is being intellectually dishonest. Therefore Greece also invites Celilia’s own homeland to enhance its humanitarian situation for migrants and asylum-seekers to the EU.

The last time I checked, neither Germany, nor England, nor Sweden, nor indeed the majority of the EU faced only a short boat ride or land border walk to the under-developed world. Yet some seemingly expect a country of only 10 million to both process and carry the moral responsibility for 90% of the illegal immigrants who enter the entire EU continent.

Really?

Had the nations of overly vocal critics been playing their own part and sincerely meeting the EU’s joint asylum needs for all these years – rather than, say, hiding behind Dublin II and using Greece as a wastebasket for the EU’s unwanted immigrants – then today’s overcrowding could easily have been averted.

Greece already spends more as a percentage of its GDP on national defences to protect its borders than any other EU nation…and was criticised for years for doing so. Greece now wants to build a fence (a fraction the size of the ones that exist along the Mexico/US border) to slow the flow of illegal immigrants…and is being criticised yet again for doing so.

How exactly is Greece supposed to stop overcrowding if it even gets criticised for taking steps to protect its own borders?

To those who claim to be supportive of the buzz-word “human rights”, I heartily welcome them to prove it with something more than empty words. I’m sure the Greek government would be more than happy to ease the moral and economic burden by shipping many of its illegal immigrants off to other nations to be processed. If every nation in the EU accepted a small fraction of the illegal immigrants in Greece today the issue could be easily resolved.

Otherwise, smugly pointing fingers at just Greece comes across as not only self-righteousness but as an attempt to mask xenophobia.

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