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You don’t have to be told that the World is in a mess or for me to tell you why –  it is in this post.

Of all the places in the world you would think that the European Union (which was built out of the ashes and grief of two World Wars) would extend the hand of help to Refugees.

I am not saying that the EU should accept every Tom Dick and Harry on a  Willy – Nilly bases.

I am saying that in order to save lives the EU should have safer routes for refugees run by EU border agency.

Italy Mare Nostrum at a costs 9 million euro per month has now fished out over 150,000 migrants/refugees – mostly from northern Africa and the Middle East.

Italy ended its full-scale coastguard operation known as Mare Nostrum, and the EU replaced it with Operation Triton.  An under-resourced scheme whose primary focus, officials admitted, was securing maritime borders rather than rescuing migrants.  While on the other hand it is commencing to pump billions into the economies by Quantitative Easing.  

Shame on us all.

If the EU is not willing to set safer routes  it needs to get serious about preventing future tragedies, it needs to give Triton the mandate and resources to rescue boats throughout the Mediterranean.

The morality of Europe’s decision to downsize maritime rescue operations last autumn fly’s in the face of everything it stands for.

The drowning of over 400 migrants since the start of the year, once again raises concerns over Europe’s reduced coastguard rescue operations.

If we believed that families drowning in the Mediterranean would be a deterrent to other migrants to attempt the crossing, well it’s not.

People are leaving because they’re being pushed out.”One survivor from Wednesday’s disaster told their rescuers: “We know what fate we’re going towards and [we understand] the probabilities of dying, but it’s a sacrifice we consciously make to have a future.”

God forbid it was one of us.

The Mediterranean Sea is over 2.5 million square kilometers.

The European Union must guarantee that there are no more push-backs at its land and sea borders:

Such refoulement (The expulsion of refugees) is an infringement of international law. Fundamental rights and fundamental values are just that, and should not be modified or curtailed based upon the strength of economic indicators. For if that is the case, they were not fundamental rights or values at all.

The true measure of a country, as well as a person, is how it deals with the most vulnerable. Our children may not consider this one of Europe’s finest hours.

Foreign Office minister:  Baroness Anelay has said such operations can encourage more people to attempt to make the dangerous sea crossing to enter Europe and claims that the demand for smuggling trips will continue despite the cancellation of Mare Nostrum. The UK would not support future search and rescue operations to prevent migrants drowning in the Mediterranean Sea. Migration is seen as something negative.

The UK looks about migrants as a burdens on the labor market, security risks linked to immigration, burdens on the social security system – these are three issues that are immediately brought up when migration is discussed by UKIP. And we can see from the political discussion of the last few weeks with what strength this defense mechanism comes into operation, even though we are talking about such small numbers.

I would suggest that the Baroness should spend a few day on a Life raft.

Since refugees have little chance of legal resettlement in countries such as Britain, which has settled only 90 Syrian refugees.  Europe unlike the UK must open its arms in an act of humanity. The costs will be about EUR 2.8 million per month creating badly need jobs.

Let me tell her that the protection of asylum seekers are shared challenges. The new EU refugee operation “Triton”  will be different in nature to Mare Nostrum, as it does not have a search and rescue function, but it has only a third of the budget of the Italian mission.

The operation has six ships, two planes and one helicopter at its disposal.

The EU needs to reconsider how it deals with refugees. The invasion is a myth which has been encouraged over decades, but it has nothing to do with the reality of the global figures.

Here is what a few that survived say:

Justice Amin, Ghana

“I’m here to find work to do so that I can help my family in Africa. That’s why I’m here in Europe. So I’m not happy. I mean, I like this area, this place I am living. But I’m not happy.

 

Vito, Nigeria

He explained life in Europe isn’t what he was expecting: “They are not treating us well… there is no work for black people, for illegal immigrants, all of them are wandering the street, looking for, begging money.”

 

 

Atiku, Ghana

After be saved, he was buzzing with excitement and ambition, now he’s sleeping rough in a train station, scavenging in litter bins and begging:
“I can’t steal… so begging is better for me.That will be better for me to survive.”
He would still like to go to England, but his priority is finding work and somewhere to live.

 

One idea would be an EU-wide distribution key with clear criteria, including possibly distribution according to population and tax revenue. That way, one wouldn’t always have this jealousy and bad feeling and the refugees wouldn’t be politically instrumentalized.

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