Europe Paying Price For Thoughtless Refugee Policy – OpEd


The terrorist attacks in Belgium, France and now in Germany are causing concern that Europe may not be a safe place any more. Not used to such terrorist attacks and imagining that Western Europe would always remain peaceful, the police force in Europe now finds itself to be unequal to the threat of terrorists and seem to be ill equipped to handle the violent suicide attacks.

Many Europeans are now convinced that safety in public places have become a grave threat, since European countries particularly German government welcomed the mass of refugees with open hands ,claiming that it was acting with humanitarian gesture. People without visas, proper documents and perhaps, even with fictitious names and nativity have entered Europe in large way as part of the crowd and moved from one country to another with ease. Looking at the repeated terrorist attacks, many Europeans including the members of the police force suspect that several terrorist elements could have sneaked into Europe along with the refugees.

It was surprising that German government and a few other governments in Europe which received refugees with open arm and virtually encouraged the swelling number of refugees, ignored several warnings that such unchecked refugee influx would disturb the peace and harmony in Europe and make it vulnerable to lawlessness and violent practices .

Already, Germany has seen several clashes between the refugees and the local population and there is huge resentment among the German people that their government has carelessly and thoughtlessly encouraged the refugee influx. Obviously, German government has not even worked out a careful and convincing approach policy and strategy to tackle the refugee issue nor cared to ascertain the view of the citizens.

Perhaps, the German government thought that it has the resources and land space to accommodate the refugees. But, astonishingly, it failed to appreciate the obvious situation that all refugees might not be genuine and they might not be from the countries where people are persecuted and freedom suppressed. It is suspected that refugees might have come not only from Syria but also from countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan and others.

When the huge influx was taking place, there were many credible media reports that middle men were collecting money from refugees and other people to push them into Europe along with the crowd. German government and a few other governments in Europe did not note this, though it was noted by many people.

Now, the damage has been done and the presence of thousands of faceless refugees in Europe has become a fact of life. German government stands criticized for it’s refugee policy, which is viewed as primarily responsible for encouraging the refugee influx in Europe.

The security forces in Europe are having a hard time now, not knowing who is a genuine refugee and who may be a terrorist among them. The repeated terrorist attacks in Germany, Belgium and France only highlight the fact that the terrorists are able to hit wherever they want and whenever they want and perhaps, they are not far away.

Now, Europe is paying the price for the confused refugee policy of some countries and it appears that the problem of refugees and consequent terrorism possibility will not go away too soon. Many people think that the refugee policy is a historic blunder that would cost Europe dearly,sooner or later and perhaps, sooner than later.

European countries have to coordinate between themselves far better in tackling terrorism and certainly the security forces in all European countries would be well stretched.

Finally, what causes surprise is that technologically advanced countries in Europe who think that they can take a lesson or two for other countries about governance, have itself become an example of poor governance, as far as refugee policy is concerned.

N. S. Venkataraman

N. S. Venkataraman is a trustee with the "Nandini Voice for the Deprived," a not-for-profit organization that aims to highlight the problems of downtrodden and deprived people and support their cause. To promote probity and ethical values in private and public life and to deliberate on socio-economic issues in a dispassionate and objective manner.

One thought on “Europe Paying Price For Thoughtless Refugee Policy – OpEd

  • July 26, 2016 at 3:03 am

    Having lived in Belgium for long years,I appreciate your observations.A similar scandal of “8 million refugees” took place in the late sixties.(see “the Economist” of that time.)Europeans wanted these Turks,Algerians,Moroccans at that time to do difficult jobs like construction.Now,as you say rightly, terrorists are also coming in.Angela Merkel, like our politicians,has her own agenda.Donald Trump was right that”Belgium was a beautiful and peaceful country which was ruined by these people”


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