Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Better future and security attract more refugees to Europe

Syrian refugees flooding to Hungary.
It’s nothing else but good future and security for their children that attract thousands of refugees to Europe.

But streaming into Europe have cost them so much sufferings, battling with police and border guards to escape tyranny in Middle East countries where the Islamic militants are sowing terror and chaos.

Robust enough to carry their dreams and determination to survive, at least, they have succeeded in breaking the barriers to the welcoming arms of the host countries like Austria and Germany, among the Euro-member countries that now provide sanctuary to these hapless migrants.

But the mass exodus isn't over yet. As days roll on, thousands more are coming to Hungary's border. With the latest government's decision to seal its border, many of these refugees, including children and women, have to find another route to get into the heart of Europe. This time, they landed in Croatia and Serbia, which eventually allowed them to take refuge as they try to map out their next, and perhaps, final destinations.

Although it is sad to know that not much of the refugees have been persuaded to seek refuge in the Gulf nations, where language is no barrier at all considering that they speak the same language. But only a few have decided to settle in the neighboring countries like Jordan and Lebanon.

Therefore, it is now easier to predict what they really wanted in the first place why they chose Europe as their ultimate destination? In Europe, their rights and future will be protected by the host government. As refugees, their children's future is assured, too. Far from violence and the chaos that now hound most parts of the Middle East like Syria, Libya and Iraq, where most of the refugees came from, they can settle in peace and harmony, without thinking that the Islamic militants will come to kill them, and worse, rape their women.

But the tide of refugees comes with repercussions, too. An article from the Bloomberg Businessweek  said: "Europe is torn between responses like those in Kos and Chios in Greece. The brutal receptions by Hungary and Bulgaria--and the heartbreaking photograph of a drowned Syrian boy on a Turkish beach--prompted displays of outrage.

And of course, pity from those who understand and feel how it is to become a refugee. Uprooted from their birthplaces, they have nothing else to depend on but their principles and culture that are now likely to be bruised by constant upheaval to survive.

Due to the massive problem that now threatens Europe, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has called on his counterparts  to be sensitive to what is happening right now. In fact, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, he presented "a plan for member countries to take in a total of 120,000 asylum seekers, calling for mandatory quotas for each country and building on a proposal from last May to relocate 40,000 refugees and France 24,000 over the next two years."

So far, Germany has taken in an estimated 218,000 refugees, from a total of 4 million Syrians displaced by the on-going civil strife that rocks the Assad regime. Already Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan had taken around 2 million refugees.
As the situation flares up, some migration experts have suggested that a "long-term solution will require the participation of Canada and the United States, which has taken only 1,500 refugees since 2011."

Juncher could be right when he insisted that the refugees are the results of the instability in some countries in the Middle East. "We are fighting against the Islamic State," he said. So it is only incumbent upon some of the European countries to accept people who ran away from that conflict,  he explained.

As European leaders and government officials discuss the mechanisms on how to address the issue at hand, the inclination for thousands more to move out from Libya, Syria and Iraq is growing. Surely, the negative impacts of the mass exodus of refugees to Europe and elsewhere will slowly be felt, especially in the labor sector, where employment opportunities will shrink. However, I strongly believed in the ingenuity of political bigwigs in Europe to calm down the storm that is brewing in the horizon.

When time permits, they are always ready to create sets of mechanisms that will provide more opportunities for both the asylum-seekers and the citizens themselves for the sake of survival. (RG Altarejos)


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