Reader letter: Aid is so shameful

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In the recent debate about the refugee crises in Europe the whole focus has been on ‘numbers’.

How many and where. Yesterday, the emergency EU meeting failed to agree to allocate 120 thousands refugees within a population of over 300 millions.

That is shameful - the ‘numbers’ represent 4 refugees for each 1,000 of EU citizens. Despite the numerical insignificance Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary closed their borders - which is ironical as these are the countries benefiting most from the open borders within the EU. Now their action, formerly criticised, has been sanctioned by Germany by closing her own borders today.

This indicates the problems is not in numbers. We need to solve the refugee problem by understanding the cultural distance between the incoming people and European traditions. I have no doubt (I was a refugee myself) that the first generation of newcomers will be very grateful indeed. I am not so sure about the second generation. Unless we provide help for settlement and adjustment for both, the refugees and the indigenous population, we will not solve the ‘refugee crises’. We have to recognise Europe’s obligation on one hand and Europe limitation on the other: according to the UN there are 60 million refugees worldwide. 4 million in Middle East. We cannot accept all. But our acceptance of some of them does give us a moral right to participate in the solution for all.

George Smid

By email