Europe took another stab at tackling the bloc’s worsening migrant crisis on Sunday as Jean-Claude Juncker called a mini-summit of 11 regional leaders in Brussels. The immediate concern, Juncker contends, is providing shelter for the hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers who have inundated the Balkans en route to what they hope will be a better life in Germany.
So far, Europe has struggled mightily under the weight of the people flows and a plan to place 120,000 asylum seekers based on a quota system met with hostility from some Eastern European nations including Hungary, where PM Viktor Orban has closed the border with both Serbia and Croatia in an effort to, in his words, “preserve the Christian heritage.” Germany’s approach has been to adopt what amounts to an open door policy to migrants and that, in turn, has set off border battles in the Balkans as Serbia, Croatia, and Slovenia bicker about the best way to divert the refugees north.
The new “plan” proposed by Merkel and Juncker aims to set up so-called “holding camps” along the Balkan route. The sites will be able to accommodate some 100,000 refugees.
“It cannot be that in the Europe of 2015 people are left to fend for themselves, sleeping in fields,” Juncker said.
Here’s more from The NY Times:
The leaders of Greece and other countries along the main migrant trail to affluent parts of Europe agreed late Sunday to set up holding camps for 100,000 asylum seekers, a move that Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany said would help slow a chaotic flow of tens of thousands of people seeking shelter from war or simply better lives.
Amid warnings that the European Unionrisked falling apart if it cannot forge a common response to a largely uncontrolled influx of Syrians, Afghans and others, Ms. Merkel said early Monday in Brussels that Europe “faced one of the greatest litmus tests” in its history and was now moving slowly to ease the crisis.
All the same, she told reporters after an emergency meeting with Eastern and Central European leaders in Brussels that Europe still had a long way to go before it got a grip on its biggest refugee crisis since the end of World War II.
Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Union’s top executive, who convened Sunday’s meeting at the behest of Ms. Merkel, said reception centers would be established along the so-called “Balkan route” taken by most migrants that could hold and process 50,000 people, with facilities for 50,000 more to be set up in Greece. He said leaders had also agreed to stop “waving through” migrants who cross their countries as they rush north toward Germany and Scandinavia.
“The only way to restore order is to slow down the uncontrolled flows of people,” Mr. Juncker told reporters.
Commenting on pledges of coordinated action made by the leaders at the meeting, she said, “Of course this does not solve the problem,” but it does provide “a building stone in the edifice” of a more coherent policy.
Count us skeptical.
In all likelihood, these way stations will swiftly become overcrowded, unsafe refugee internment camps and they’ll likely be easy targets for vociferous anti-migrant protests or worse.
With that in mind, we present the following drone footage and still shots which should give you an idea about why we contend that Europe’s “holding camps” will swiftly be overrun.