Kos overburdened with refugees
In the refugee crisis the Greek island of Kos has become the focus of attention in recent days. The situation on the island has become increasingly dramatic, with many new arrivals being put up in a docked car ferry. Commentators point to Kos as proof of Europe's failed asylum policy and discuss how to best help the refugees' countries of origin.
Countries of arrival face hellish dilemma
The chaos in the process of taking in refugees on the Greek island of Kos exposes the failure of Europe's asylum policy, points out the Christian social daily newspaper Trouw: "It is a hellish dilemma for the Greek government: the current rules of asylum in Europe make it worthwhile to offer asylum seekers as little help as possible initially, to let them almost die. Because that means they'll move on quickly to northern Europe, which is what most of them plan to do anyway. The major system error of European asylum policy comes into play here: it is still the countries of arrival that are financially responsible for accommodating and registering the asylum seekers. … The south of Europe must bear the brunt of the burden. This leads to cynical treatment of people from war zones. The agreements on emergency aid must be formulated more honestly - and post haste, too."
No one trying to end war in Syria
Refugees won't stop coming to Europe until the problems that drive them to leave their own countries are solved, but the international community doesn't seem to care much, writes the liberal newspaper Kurier: "For more than four years now war has raged in Syria. And for more than four years there has been not a single serious international initiative to stop the madness. Syrian refugees, this much is certain, will keep coming to Europe as long as the war continues. Austria alone can't exert much pressure but the EU as a whole is capable of more. But hello? Is the UN still there? Or the world policeman, the US? - or even the leadership in Moscow? The idea of peacemaking has clearly been buried under a mountain of special interests pursued by the US, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran in Syria."
Europe must address refugee problem in Balkans
If Europe wants to improve conditions in refugees' countries of origin it can start in its own backyard, the liberal business paper Hospodářské noviny writes: "The Roma, for example, have no chance of a dignified life and are victimised merely because they're Roma. When a Roma mother says there's no chance of Roma and Albanian children playing together even in the long term, it says more than all the EU Commission reports put together. The EU will have a hard time taking swift and effective action in Africa or Syria. But in the Balkans it can do just that. Because the Balkan states are either EU members - like Romania - or they're moving closer to the EU, like Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia and Serbia. ... President Zeman says help must be provided in the refugees' countries of origin. There's no need to look as far as Africa to do that."