Bill Gates does about-face on EU refugee resettlement

Microsoft chairman Bill Gates has been known for his strong advocacy for open borders in Europe and for the U.S. to admit more Syrian refugees.

But on Europe, Mr. Gates appears to have had a change of heart.  He now wants the E.U. to make it "more difficult" for migrants to reach western Europe.  He believes that sending more foreign aid to African and Middle Eastern countries will help stem the flow of refugees.

Daily Express:

He had previously called on countries to take in more migrants but now appears to have completely reversed his view. 

The Microsoft chief said instead of opening the European Union borders, Brussels should fix the push-factors at the source by sending more foreign aid. 

He said: "On the one hand you want to demonstrate generosity and take in refugees, but the more generous you are, the more word gets around about this – which in turn motivates more people to leave Africa.

"[Germany cannot] take in the huge, massive number of people who are wanting to make their way to Europe."

He said instead the EU must make it "more difficult for Africans to reach the continent via the current transit routes" while also relieving "enormous pressure" by sending foreign aid. 

The 61-year-old said it was "phenomenal" German Chancellor Angela Merkel is currently spending 0.7 per cent of the country's GDP on foreign aid and urged others to follow its example. 

Last year Mr Gates, who is worth an estimated 60 billion pounds, called on America to open its doors to Syrian migrants.

And he said Germany and Sweden were "to be congratulated" for opening its doors during the migrant crisis.

He said the USA "had the capacity" to follow suit, claiming: "The total number of refugees is not a world record."

While it's laudable that Mr. Gates recognizes some of the problems with E.U. migration, his "solution" is delusional.  How will more foreign aid end the numerous wars that are feeding the tidal wave of refugees fleeing the conflict zones?  He may also want to look closely at where a lot of that foreign aid ends up: in the pockets of corrupt government officials.

The voter backlash against the refugee policies of European government officials from several countries has initiated a sea change in resettlement policies.  Germany and Scandinavian nations have now decided to restrict the number of refugees entering their countries and are a lot stricter about granting asylum to economic refugees.

This has put a lot of pressure on southern European countries like Greece and Italy that serve as an entry point for most refugees.  Austria may take steps to militarize its long border with Italy to keep the refugees out.  This provoked a strong Italian reaction against putting Austrian troops on their border – just one sign of cracks in E.U. unity about the migrants.

President Trump is in Poland today, basking in the glow of approval from both the Polish government and the Polish people over his immigration policies.  And while the refugee issue is still divisive and may yet lead to a split-up of the E.U., northern European countries are adjusting their policies to more closely resemble those of eastern and central Europe.

The Gates about-face is only the latest sign that elites are starting to rethink open-door policies that have roiled the continent for more than two years.

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