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Sunday, July 2, 2017

Migrant Crisis Becoming Ever More Dire But EU Hapless and Haggard

Migrants set up camp in Italy’s Ventimiglia after being denied entry to France 

© Ruptly

A group of migrants have set up a new makeshift camp under an elevated road near Ventimiglia in northern Italy after police prevented their attempts to cross into France

The people at the camp have just blankets and cardboard sheets on the ground to sleep on, using the elevated road as shelter in case of rain.

One of the refugees said in a video taken by RT’s Ruptly video agency that he had to pay $3,000 (around €2,600) to traffickers to cross the Mediterranean from Libya into Italy, a perilous journey made by around 500,000 people since 2014.

“If you don't pay money, they can shoot you to death, or maybe they can cut your legs; maybe they will cut your hand. Many things they can do to you,” he said.

In late June, local authorities in Ventimiglia ordered the shutting of a large camp on the bank of the Roja River, which hosted around 400 Middle Eastern and North Africans migrants.

The move prompted people to try making their way into nearby France as hundreds walked toward the border. 

However, they were met with a heavy presence from Italian police at the checkpoint as officers used teargas to disperse the crowd. 

Individual attempts by migrants to cross into France using woodland paths during the night were prevented by the French authorities.

Ventimiglia has been recently referred to as Italy’s “mini-Calais” – after the port city in northern France which hosted a large makeshift refugee camp of migrants, trying to reach the UK.

With 82,000 people arriving already since the start of the year, Italy said it has been struggling with the refugee influx and demanded greater involvement from the EU.

The country even threatened to close its ports for humanitarian vessels rescuing migrants from sinking boats in the Mediterranean, seeking to have them redirected to other coastal countries.

The European Commission backed Italy’s plea by saying that the ports in Barcelona and Marseille could also receive migrant boats, but there was no enthusiasm for the idea in Spain and France.

The interior ministers of France, Germany and Italy were scheduled to get together in Paris on Sunday to discuss possible assistance for Rome.

However, an aide told Reuters that one shouldn’t expect immediate decisions at the meeting due to a summit of EU interior ministers scheduled to take place in Tallinn, Estonia next week.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, also said in a statement on Sunday that Italy needs more help from the EU.

"What is happening in front of our eyes in Italy is an unfolding tragedy,” Grandi said, adding that that Europe required an “urgent distribution system” and the widening of legal channels for the admission of asylum seekers.

“Italy is playing its part in receiving those rescued and providing asylum to those in need of protection. These efforts must be continued and strengthened. But this cannot be an Italian problem alone,” Grandi said.

Europe can no longer accept refugees at the rate that has been occurring for the past few years. It is not only cultural suicide, it is not only devastating especially for young European girls and women who suffer from dramatically increased rates of sexual abuse, but it is financially unsustainable. 

Most refugees are untrained and even uneducated. Many need to learn the language of the country they end up in before they can even begin to be educated or trained in a profession. All of this costs money, a lot of money, and all of these refugees are receiving living allowances at the same time. 

On top of that, policing costs have increased dramatically as many migrant youth gangs have no regard for the law, and there is, of course, the knowledge that a percentage of those migrants are radicalized Muslims and potential terrorists. A small percentage of them are outright jihadists.

Meanwhile, NATO and the USA are creating hyperbolic terrors that Russia is ready to invade Europe and EU countries are shelling out hundreds of billions of dollars, or Euros, to purchase weapons and upgrade military capability, and where does that money go? Not to the smaller, poorer countries of the EU, that's for sure.

The EU has to begin to send migrants back where they came from. Western powers have to invest in economies in Africa to create the possibility of economic growth. We have to look at companies now operating in 3rd world countries and ensure that they are operating for the benefit of the country, not just themselves. We also need to be more focused on creating peace in war-torn countries rather than either ignoring them or taking advantage of the fighting to sell more weapons and to accomplish selfish political goals.