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Editorial

Refugees Are People Too – Aren’t They?

They don’t vote and sadly, they take votes away from politicians who dare to support them.

They don’t come on huge luxury yachts worth tens of millions.

Nor do they arrive in private planes loaded with expensive luggage by the most expensive European brands stuffed with dollars or drugs.

Nor are they armed with passports bought with investments in a Mediterranean country.

They know they are not welcome. That they will be exploited. That their lives will stagnate.

But they also know what they are leaving behind. And they see this as worse than the evil they will face.

At least there, ahead, somewhere, wherever they are in Europe, they will live with hope for something better.

Back where they were born and raised, what future do they have – especially their children?

They too are human beings – even if the governments and warlords of their countries don’t consider them human beings.

Neither do the smugglers, who take the little money they have been able to raise and cram them like sardines into rickety boats and take them wherever the tide leads them.
How could someone do that? They are human beings too.

A few days ago, a tragedy occurred – again. Who counts these types of events anymore?

Turkish smugglers, having ‘cut them a ticket’, piled refugees into a rotted ship, about 170 people, including many families with small children, and set sail.

They are avoiding Greece – which was closer to them – after the measures taken by the government.

The strong winds, the rough seas, pushed them towards the coast of Italy.

The rotten ship hit a reef. It splintered and capsized.

The refugees were tossed into the rough sea. Dozens drowned. Many children. How could they deal with the huge waves?

In the past year, over a million refugees have arrived in Europe.

Local communities are tired. They can no longer bear to receive them. The rising cost of living is making their own lives difficult.

Europe places the blame on the smugglers. The Turkish authorities, intentionally or not, are turning a blind eye. If they wanted to, it would be easy to stop them. They want to get rid of them too. And to use them as pawns to blackmail Europe.

The refugee crisis is a crisis that must be dealt with for what it is: a crisis. Like the tragedies of war, it needs a serious, joint response.

And the powerful countries of the European Union cannot put the burden on a few Mediterranean countries.

This situation cannot continue. So many people are lost – in Europe!

They are people. Aren’t they?

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