4 out of 5 refugees claiming asylum in Europe not from Syria
EU governments, especially Germany, France, and the U.K., have been claiming that other countries must take in more refugees because they're mostly coming from war-torn Syria.
But statistics released by the EU show exactly the opposite. Of 213,000 refugees who applied for asylum in April, May, and June, only 44,000 were fleeing the violence in Syria. The rest – including 14,000 Albanians whose nation is at peace – are being described as "economic refugees."
Campaigners and left-wing MPs have suggested the vast majority of migrants are from the war-torn state, accusing the Government of doing too little to help them.
'This exposes the lie peddled in some quarters that vast numbers of those reaching Europe are from Syria,' said David Davies, Tory MP for Monmouth. 'Most people who are escaping the war will go to camps in Lebanon or Jordan.
'Many of those who have opted to risk their lives to come to Europe have done so for economic reasons.'
Sir Bill Cash, a fellow Tory, said: 'These figures make extremely disturbing reading. The whole argument has been made that this influx is all real refugees from Syria whereas this adds to the substantial evidence that there are a large number of economic migrants who are aiming for a better life.'
he figures from Eurostat, the EU's official statistical agency, show that migration from April to June was running at double the level of the same period in 2014.
The number of Afghans lodging asylum claims is up four-fold, from 6,300 to 27,000. Another 17,700 claims were made by Albanians, whose country is at peace.
A further 13,900 applicants came from Iraq which, like Syria, is being torn apart by the Islamic State terror group.
Half a million migrants have arrived in Europe so far this year, with 156,000 coming in August alone. Rather than claiming asylum in the first safe EU country they reach, most head on toward wealthy northern states. The human cost of the crisis has been paid by the estimated 3,000 migrants who have drowned after putting their lives in the hands of people smugglers for the perilous crossing of the Mediterranean.
Risks being taken by many families were highlighted by the deaths of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi and his brother Galip, five, whose bodies were washed up on the tourist beach of Bodrum in Turkey earlier this month.
More than 250,000 migrants have reached Greece and Italy, where the authorities are close to breaking point.
Although the figures are for only those refugees who have applied for asylum and represent only half the total number of new arrivals, you have to think that those percentages would hold. Of course, the refugees from Africa could be fleeing war as well, but what sets the refugees apart who arrive by boat via human traffickers is that it costs about $8,000 for the smuggler to take a family to Europe. I daresay that those who live in poverty in those countries at war would be unable to afford the crossing. So what you have, in essence, is a migration of the middle class from the Middle East to Europe – doctors, lawyers, successful shopkeepers, etc.
EU leaders will meet on Wednesday, where Germany will almost certainly demand that other countries do more to relieve the burden the refugees place on Greece, Italy, and Austria. Germany will put pressure on Croatia, Hungary, and other eastern Euorpean nations to do a lot more than they are currently doing to ease the crisis, but those pleas will probably fall on deaf ears. The reality for many EU nations is that there simply is no place to put the new arrivals, nor is there any desire to assimilate them into their socieities – even if most Muslim refugees wanted to.