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MARCH 2021

European Governments Fail To Deal With Migrant Influx

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European Governments Fail To Deal With Migrant Influx

STRINGER/AFP/Getty

The migration crisis that started in 2015 is tearing Europe apart. While some countries tried to stop the influx of refugees, others accepted hundreds of thousands of migrants. 890 thousand people arrived in Germany, and than 160 thousand migrants arrived in Sweden in 2015. Belgium opened its doors to 45 thousand refugees.

As one may expect social integration is a sensitive area. Absorbing such number of refugees posed job placement issues. Only a low percent of the arrived managed to land a job, as most positions require high qualifications and speaking the language fluently. Most migrants have settled in the outskirts of large cities. In some places they are the majority: more than 80% of the populace are refugees in certain areas. They foster their own communities instead of integrating, despite the government’s best attempts to accommodate them, like removing all signs of the cross from  a Christian church. A petition to change Sweden’s flag from cross to a crescent surfaced on the Internet. While showing many telltale signs of being a troll petition, who can tell anymore?

These factors lead to rise in crime, civil disturbances, rape and murder. Violent crime in Sweden has decreased from a peak in 2011, but the number of killings has risen, with 112 cases of lethal violence in 2015 – higher than at any time in recent years – and 33 deaths by shooting compared to 17 in 2011. Meanwhile, in a report published in February last year the police “identified 53 residential areas around the country that have become increasingly marred by crime, social unrest and insecurity.” According to German officials, illegal immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers were suspected of having committing 174,438 crimes in 2017, a more than 50% increase over the previous year. A particularly chilling case came from Belgium, where a serial rapist from Morocco — who also robbed and drugged his victims — could have assaulted as many as 230 people since 2015.

The failure of the European governments to accommodate and absorb the migrants lead to turmoil. Nearly 10 attacks were made on migrants in Germany every day in 2016. “Sweden Democrats”, a starkly anti-immigrant political party, sees increased support, ranking second in the polls, while openly tying foreigners to crime, especially singling out Muslims. The pushback against the migrants is real, which demonstrates that the vision of unified and tolerant Europe, a vision that many European leaders currently seem to subscribe to, may ultimately prove to be a delusion.

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