Europe Unprepared for New Wave of Refugees

'It’s a very dangerous situation'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 17, 2016 6:05 PM CST
Europe Unprepared for New Wave of Refugees
Asylum seekers gather round a fire as they cook a meal overlooking a temporary refugee camp in Norway. With more refugees than ever expected to arrive in Europe with the start of spring, the continent isn't close to prepared.   (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

What was already the worst refugee crisis to hit Europe since WWII is only expected to get worse when spring arrives, and the continent isn't even close to prepared for it, the Washington Post reports. “It’s a very dangerous situation," one expert says. Approximately 75,000 refugees arrived in Europe during the first six weeks of 2016; that's 25 times more than during the same period in 2015. Europe was supposed to use the winter to prepare for the new wave of refugees. Instead, its plans started falling apart. According to the Guardian, countries that were once pro-refugee are starting to tighten up their borders. And a group of Eastern European countries is formulating a plan to seal up their borders to trap refugees in Greece, which the Greek government states will lead to a "security and humanitarian emergency within days."

The arrival of this year's refugees could cause even more "disorder and political disruption"—as the Post puts it—than in 2015 while dooming the era of borderless travel in Europe. Refugee sorting locations in Greece have failed to open and the system to distribute refugees isn't working, among other problems. Meanwhile, an EU document released by Wikileaks highlights military operations to stop smugglers bringing refugees into Europe and calls for the EU to push for a "reliable" government in Libya to help with the crisis, RT reports. But one migration expert says whatever happens in Europe this spring is largely a result of its own political infighting. “It’s a crisis of Europe’s own making,” she tells the Post. “If Lebanon and Jordan can manage it, why can’t the richest region in the world? It’s politics.” (Read more refugees stories.)

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