This emotional Washington Post article describes Syrian asylum-seekers arriving at the Munich train station Sept. 5, where they were greeted by Germans clapping and shouting “welcome”, including both Roman Catholic Cardinal Reinhard Marx and Lutheran Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm shaking hands with exhausted people.
Germany is setting a powerful example and other countries are increasingly embarrassed in comparison. For example, Hungary’s right-wing government’s behaviour in Budapest has been widely criticized. Indeed ordinary Hungarians are embarassed by the harsh way in which their government enforced ‘the rules’.
It’s fascinating that Germany, who struggled so hard with austerity and economic reforms in the Eurozone, is now leading boldly by example. This point was well argued in this week’s Economist lead.
Sadly, I fear that apart from humanitarian aid, there is an urgent need for robust foreign policy intervention. Otherwise, there is an increasing risk that eventually we could see most of Africa on the move.
Surely, it’s time for European leaders to take a strategic look at immigration and focus beyond the immediate humanitarian disaster? Also there seems to be a need for holistic defense and foreign policy that addresses the causes of the refugee crisis?