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  • Editorial: The refugees and us

    Greece is not linked to or responsible for all this. As it happens however Greece due to its geographic position has become a transfer base.

    These days there have been a host of reactions of citizens and local officials about the flows of migrants and refugees who are again arriving en masse on the shores of our border islands from neighbouring Turkey.

    There have also been reactions from mayors of mainland Greece cities to which migrants and refugees are to be transported to relieve the burden on the islands.

    As long as these flows continue and develop the negative reactions will grow and may spin out of control if migrant flows are not checked.

    Anyone can understand the burdens and reservations that these events engender in local societies and at first blush they are understandable and explainable.

    Yet everyone should realise that this is an international problem that is created far away from our country and is the symptom of more general conditions and various situations around the world.

    Wars, persecutions, tumult, natural disasters, unspeakable poverty, and the attractive image of the European ideal draw masses from Africa, the Middle East, and the depths of Asia to Europe.

    Greece is not linked to or responsible for all this. As it happens however Greece due to its geographic position has become a transfer base.

    The destination of the migrants is not poor and crisis-ravaged Greece but rather the more developed countries of central and northern Europe.

    Based on the above one cannot hope for the resolution of the problem as it will by all appearances persist for years.

    Human history is one of migration and at times it intensifies.

    There are no magical solutions and those who imagine heroic and mournful solutions would best remain quiet as we are not alone in this world and the migration crisis is basically humanistic and barbarity and extremities are not acceptable.

    Instead of shrieks and hysterical reactions one must shield oneself against the phenomenon and the pressures it creates.

    Firstly, the government must pursue the internationalistion of the problem and a fair burden-sharing deal.
    Greece has exceeded its limits.

    Neither its population nor its economy can absorb such large migration flows, especially after a decade-long Great Depression.

    Secondly and more importantly, wealthy EU countries must negotiate with Turkey and achieve an understanding so that refugees will no longer serve as a political weapon.

    Thirdly, competent authorities must be equipped with administrative and operational capabilities.

    Refugee services are unable to process asylum applications and the deal with the control of refugees and migrants.

    Moreover, the armed forces and Coast Guard do not have sufficient forces to check migrant flows.

    Greece must develop a credible policy and make it known worldwide.

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