The Criterion

Refugee Crisis in Europe

The refugee crisis grows worse each day, forcing European governments to respond.

James Cravatas '18, Staff Writer

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Right now, in Syria, Libya, and much of the Middle East, people are fleeing from war, violence, and economic stagnation. Refugees are paying hundreds, or even thousands of dollars to sail across the mediterranean on old and unsafe freight ships and lifeboats to escape the turmoil that has swept over the region. Even if they are lucky enough to survive the treacherous journey by sea, or by land, there is another obstacle awaiting them in Europe. Instead of welcoming these desperate people into their nations, many countries have been unwelcoming, or even hostile these asylum seekers.

Most refugees flee to Italy, Greece, and Turkey, and the numbers are becoming overwhelming. Over 140,000 refugees have gone to Italy in search of safety, and the Italian coast guard has been helping people get across the mediterranean. But over 42,000 people have also fled to Greece, a country with an unemployment rate of 25.6% (America’s rate is 5.5%) that can not handle this many new migrants. In Turkey, which isn’t very far from the violence, has over 1.8 million refugees and has been called a “model for refugee camps”. But this title only comes by default as not many other countries are showing a good example. Some refugees have been put on waiting lists of upwards of 5 years to come to the country.

It is obvious that these countries need help with taking in displaced peoples but many countries with the resources to help have turned a blind eye or even openly told refugees not to come to their country, such as Denmark and Hungary. In Hungary especially, the government has treated refugees inhumanly and are even planning on building a wall across their southern border with Serbia to keep out new refugees. Some people, such as the former Prime Minister of Luxembourg, have proposed plans to greatly increase the amount of refugees accepted into their countries. In fact, Germany is planning to take in 800,000 more Syrian refugees by the end of the year, and France will take in 24,000.

But despite of this, many European officials still speak out against taking in any more refugees. They say that taking in more people would ruin their economy, but studies have shown that in countries like Jordan and Lebanon, the economy was boosted by the influx of new workers to the area. With millions of refugees knocking at their door, European nations can no longer afford to ignore their moral duty as nations to help displaced peoples find safety and new homes.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Refugee Crisis in Europe”

  1. Declan Curtin on October 14th, 2015 12:35 pm

    Thanks for your story. It is important that we teach this content and reduce the ignorance of the worldwide refugee crisis.

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Refugee Crisis in Europe