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Friday 3rd
posted by Morning Star in Editorial

EUROPEAN states have collectively shirked their responsibilities towards refugees in the most disgusting, cowardly, self-interested way.

Not content with whipping up, supporting and often directly participating in the conflicts and crises that have forced so many to make the nightmare decision to flee their homes in order to save their lives and those of their children, Europe has treated those who survive the dangerous journey with utter contempt.

Occasionally laudable early efforts have given way to razor-wire border fences, police brutality and, in Denmark, outright robbery of the poorest and most desperate.

The Tory government has been very fortunate to have 20 miles of water and the French police to save it from getting its hands dirty — restricting its attacks on refugees to callous policies drawn up by multi-millionaires in plush Westminster offices while Calais cops beat and tear gas those huddled on the opposite shore.

This utter lack of compassion, a total absence of human solidarity, extends naturally to those European countries which, by accident of geography, are the first stop for those who make it across the treacherous waters of the Mediterranean and Aegean.

This is no surprise. As the European Union continues to destroy Greece, wielding the weapon of hunger against its people, why would fellow EU member states help it look after thousands of refugees?

Ultimately the treatment of refugees reflects how the wealthy elite which holds the political and economic levers across Europe treats the rest of the population.

Snatching lifeline support from disabled people, heating money from pensioners, education from children, healthcare from everyone — condemning refugees to squalor and death is very much in keeping with the rest.

The EU’s dodgy deal with Turkey to chuck out refugees who have survived the hazardous journey to Europe is grotesque.

Not only that but it is illegal in its own terms, as Amnesty International has found.

Uncared for here in Europe, refugees face continued hardship in Turkey. Amnesty reports two destitute Afghan families who, after losing three children trying to cross the sea, were forced to sleep under a bridge in Istanbul.

It condemns as “a fiction the idea that Turkey is able to respect the rights and meet the needs of over three million asylum-seekers and refugees.”

It falls short at three legal hurdles: to promptly assess people’s situation, provide full refugee status and the necessities of life to those just clinging on.

Of the three parties to this deal, refugees get stuffed while Europe can wash its hands of them and Turkey receives much-desired foreign support, particularly as it yet again massacres its Kurdish citizens in the south-east — with Western backing.

The countries rich enough, and blatantly with the responsibility, to look after the refugees pouring out of the Middle East and central Asia are here in Europe.

In a sane world the vast resources of our continent would be taken out of the hands of the rich few and deployed to ensure all can live well and in peace — the socialist future for which this paper strives.

But in the short term, we must not let the Tories off the hook and cut off their claims to nobility as they act with utter barbarism towards those most in need.