Refugee Crisis On Brink Of Catastrophe

The great trek north goes on unabated. Thousands upon thousands heading for the sanctuary of the west; or at least that is what they hope.
This is already an intercontinental crisis but it could turn into a European catastrophe if previously open borders are shut.
It will leave tens of thousands, eventually perhaps hundreds of thousands, trapped and homeless within the confines of at least five unwelcoming countries. It will be chaos.
Over the past few days I have travelled with the refugees through the entire Balkan corridor that begins at the Greek border with Macedonia. Travelling through Macedonia and Serbia to Hungary and eventually Austria.
The sheer numbers of people walking, taking buses, trains and taxis is quite remarkable. But things could soon go badly wrong if the EU does not sort out a strategy it is legally obliged to observe.

Like it or loath it the European Union has a collective responsibility to deal with this refugee crisis. The UK and Ireland have opt-outs of course, but the rest of the countries do not, and that is now putting unprecedented stress on the Union.
We thought the economic bailout issues were bad. This utterly dwarfs that simply because we aren't just talking about banks and economics.
An issue that involves so many people, and it is millions, means that Europe in its entirety could actually be socially reshaped. This is sort of biblical stuff.
Given the hammering me and my colleagues are taking on social media for simply covering a factual story, it is clear that there is a collective ignorance of simple facts and recent history.
The danger is that any reasoned debate is overshadowed by hysterical Twitter bullying that is not based on anything other than prejudice.
These are REFUGEES not the economic migrants who have been dying in their thousands trying to get to Europe from north Africa. It does not matter how many times the tweeters, the bloggers and the political right insist they are, they are not.
The governments who find themselves at the centre of this storm have themselves to blame.

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