Germany, along with the rest of Europe, has been on the wrong end of a large scale immigration problem over the last few years. The “sex attacks” on women in Cologne have put the spotlight back on the immigration crisis since it has been reported that most of the perpetrators were of North African and Arab origin. This has given the far right parties in Germany an opportunity to tear into Angela Merkel’s liberal immigration policies


An increasing number of people in Germany are beginning to feel upset about the way in which Merkel’s administration has tackled the immigration problem. While some countries in Europe, such as Hungary, have made it fairly evident that refugees are not welcome, Germany has accepted over one million refugees in the last year. It is the most sought after destination among the refugees fleeing war and persecution in the Middle East and Africa, among other regions.

Human rights activists and sympathizers will have you believe that Germany is doing no more than it ought to. They believe that it is Germany’s moral responsibility to help these refugees. I don’t agree though. Sure, for me to sit here in a comfortable café in New Delhi and say this, while sipping a cup of hot cappuccino, is easy. I might have felt very differently had I been one among those refugees. However, I would still say that large scale migration to Europe, or any other country for that matter, is just not a viable solution in the long run.

Political instability, terrorism, poverty and other problems in the Middle East and Africa are forcing people to stake their lives and travel to Europe in make-shift boats in search of a better life. Is this a long term solution though? Can we allow the creation of a lop-sided world wherein a few countries are over flowing with an ever increasing population, while other countries are sparsely populated and ruled by a few power hungry maniacs? Instead of accepting migrants in huge numbers or playing ping-pong with them, as some countries are doing, European countries must come together and stop this problem at its root. They must do whatever they can to help bring the problems in “MEA” to an end so that people don’t feel a need to migrate to Europe. The “powers that be” must work together to bring an end to the turmoil in Syria, Yemen and Africa. It’s easier said than done though.

Europe should not have to suffer for the failing of other countries as nation-states. Generally, European countries live in harmonious prosperity (relatively). Why should that become a curse for them? What transpired in Cologne on New Year’s Eve can’t be attributed to migrants alone. However, no one can deny their significant involvement in the despicable incident. Some say that migrants must be given time to settle down in Germany so that they can understand what standard of behavior is appropriate and what is not. I say that if someone needs to be made to understand that he can’t go around groping and molesting women, then he has no place in society, period. Merkel says that immigrants that are found guilty of their involvement in the Cologne incident should be promptly deported (I am paraphrasing here). However, I say that deportation is much too lenient a punishment for such people. No country in the world needs scum bags like them.




The immigration crisis in Europe has been bad for a while now, and it appears to be getting worse. Violence, a poor quality of life, political unrest, fear of persecution and other reasons have led to a large number of people from Northern Africa and the Middle East, fleeing to Europe, in the hope of being able to lead better lives there. The situation in these parts of the world has become so bad over the last few years that every day, thousands of people, with little regard for their safety, board fragile boats that are not fit for the sea by any means, and set sail for Europe. Now, a number of these boats drown on their way, but miraculously, quite a few of them make it to European countries such as Italy, Greece etc.

On reaching the shores of Europe, these refugees feel that the worst is over and that they can finally get on with their lives by moving to European countries of their choice, or even settling down in Italy. However, little do they know that their struggle for survival is not quite over.

This is just the beginning of another struggle; a struggle to find a permanent home. Countries such as Italy and Greece initially help these refugees. They accommodate them in their refugee camps, feed them and provide medical aid to those who need it. However, what follows is an unfortunate, human Ping-Pong match – A match played among the countries of Europe to determine who will take care of these refugees permanently.

No one country wants to accommodate and help rehabilitate all of these refugees on its own. Italy, for instance, has accommodated a large number of refugees over the last few years. However, it wants other countries from the European Union to help shoulder the burden. The Italians believe that just because their country, due to its location, is among the most accessible countries for these refugees, they should not have to take in all of the refugees and resettle them in different parts of Italy. The Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, feels that Europe is not doing its bit to help resolve the problem. And he is right.

Under to the Dublin regulations, refugees must apply for asylum in the first country of their entry to Europe. Italy believes that this rule is unfair. Why should Italy, or Greece for that matter, have to accommodate all of the refugees that wash up on their shores, only because they are the most accessible of the EU countries?

Until recently, people in Schengen countries could travel to other countries that are part of the Schengen agreement, without any problems. However, in light of the ongoing immigration crisis, a number of countries such as France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland have tightened security at their borders. This has resulted in the accumulation of a large number of asylum seekers within the borders of Italy. The French security forces have been catching refugees in their areas and dumping them back into Italian territory. A number of other countries around Italy are doing the same. It has become like a human Ping-Pong match. Men, women and children are being treated like objects. They are picked up from different parts of France and Austria and dumped back into Italy.

Recently, the Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban, refused to take back migrants who applied for asylum in Hungary and fled to other parts of Europe before their cases were decided. The Hungarians have also decided to erect a fence on their borders to help eliminate illegal immigration into Hungary.

The Italians are irate at these developments. Renzi has warned that if Italy does not receive adequate support from the rest of the EU to deal with this problem, they will resort to “Plan B”, a plan that will “first and foremost, hurt Europe”. Renzi wants the European Union to help forge repatriation agreements with African Nations, and to share the cost of returning home ‘economic migrants’. However, no help appears to be forthcoming.

The situation is a complete mess at the moment. A few countries are suffering, whereas the other member states of the European Union are not bothered about the ongoing crisis. In their attempt to look after their own interests, they seem to have become a little too selfish. They have left countries such as Italy and Greece to tackle the problem on their own. Italy has declared that it will not accept a “Selfish Europe”. Will the European Union be able to find a viable, long-term solution? Maybe.

One thing is for sure though. If the European Union does not find a solution that is acceptable to all of its member states very soon, this problem threatens to spiral out of control.