When the Australian Liberal policy of ‘stop the boats’ was first bandied around inside Australian politics I cringed at the lack of humanitarian concern for people attempting to escape violence and war. But am I wrong?
The tide of Islamic refugees into Europe now appears more like a flood. And a well organised flood at that. Recent reports and statistics reveal that the number of people seeking refugee status has continued to climb in the first half of 2014, driven by the wars in Syria and Iraq, as well as conflict and instability in Afghanistan, Eritrea and elsewhere. UNHCR
Already some are calling it an invasion [see here] and adds, ‘as the European countries strengthen their borders to discourage further Muslim invasion, the business of smuggling Muslims to Europe gets more lucrative, according to the investigators. The Muslim smuggling is a 10,000,000 euro business. The best Muslim smuggling operations provide the forged documents and transportation in the utmost discretion’.
Conversely seeking asylum statistics for 2014 show a sharp decline from Russia. Asylum applicants from Syria rose to 122 thousand in the EU-28 in 2014, which equated to 20 % of the total from all non-member countries. Afghani citizens accounted for 7 % of the total, while Kosovans and Eritrean citizens accounted for 6 % and Serbians for 5 %. Among the 30 main groups of citizenship of asylum applicants in the EU-28 in 2014, by far the largest relative increase compared to 2013 was recorded for individuals from Ukraine. There were also considerable increases in relative terms in the number of applicants from several African countries (The Gambia, Eritrea, Senegal, Mali, Sudan and Nigeria), two Middle Eastern countries (Syria and Iraq) and Afghanistan, as well as Western Balkan countries (Kosovo , Albania, and Bosnia and Herzegovina), and large increases of applicants from unknown origins and Stateless applicants. The largest relative fall in applicants, among these 30 countries, was recorded for Russia, as the number of Russian asylum seekers more than halved between 2013 and 2014.
Civil Libertarian states, ‘The European Parliament has voted in favour of a binding quota system that will distribute refugees across the EU, after the European Commission proposal to open the door to the burgeoning numbers of illegal migrants looking to enter Europe, mainly from the Middle East and sub-saharan Africa, was backed by Germany’s two leading political parties, as well as the Greek and Italian governments, both of which are on Europe’s Mediterranean frontline and who initially take in the bulk of the EU’s increasing number of asylum seekers, before they move elsewhere in Europe or are returned to the nearest safe country.
Last year, Germany processed about one third of the astonishing 626,000 claims for asylum within the EU, according to the latest European Commission figures. And, this year, the numbers are expected to approach one million applications’.
Hungary, Slovakia and Estonia rejected the EU’s plan to introduce a system to distribute refugees coming from conflict zones in Africa and the Middle East. The opposition to the idea came shortly before the European Commission was scheduled to present a migration policy on May 13. The EU parliament had already voted in favor of the plans.
“This is not solidarity. It is an unfair, unrighteous and dishonorable proposal which we cannot accept, “Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told the state radio on Friday.”It is a crazy idea for someone to let refugees into their own country, not defend their borders and say, now I will distribute them among you, who did not want to let anyone in,” Orban added.
Slovakia’s interior ministry also said in a statement that it “currently refuses binding quotas on migrants,” while Estonia’s government preferred voluntary location and resettlement of refugees.
Over 436,000 migrants applied for asylum in Europe in 2014, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Germany took over around a half of these, with the rest going mostly to France, Sweden, Italy and the United Kingdom. More than 27,000 migrants have arrived in Italy until now this year and over 40,000 demands for asylum have been registered, causing alarm among EU leaders who want to plan logistics and finance for the migrants in advance.