Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Cost of Isolating Greece

by Yannis Palaiologos

Wall Street Journal

March 1, 2016

Austria and nine Balkan countries met in Vienna last week to consider ways migrants from war-torn Middle Eastern countries could be prevented from traveling north into Europe through Greece. It’s just the latest in a series of unilateral moves across Europe, which add up to the abandonment of the search for a pan-European solution to the current migration problem.

Gone are any attempts at an equitable distribution of burdens. In its place are proposals to isolate Greece, potentially trapping hundreds of thousands of migrants in an already economically battered country.

Greece has long borne the brunt of illegal immigration into Europe. In 2009, on the eve of the sovereign-debt crisis, 75% of all illegal border crossings into the European Union came through Greece. By 2010, that portion rose to 90%. Greek border-control and asylum-management policy were in a shambles.


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