Russia Says the EU Has ‘Wilfully Ignored’ the Differences in Culture Between Islamic Migrants and Europeans
Simon Tomlinson, Daily Mail, March 10, 2016
Russia today lashed out at the EU’s handling of the migrant crisis, accusing leaders of wilfully ignoring cultural differences that have caused such widespread friction and chaos across the Continent.
Konstantin Romodanovsky, head of Russia’s Federal Migration Service, said ‘multiculturalism has failed’ because Europe never formed a unified strategy to integrate refugees into Western society.
He said: ‘The European Commission left it up to individual nations to decide how they want to treat asylum seekers–despite the fact the policies and capabilities of member states are very different.
‘The EU does not have an effective system for registering incoming migrants or effective mechanisms for deporting illegal immigrants.’
As a result, he claims the EU was caught ‘unprepared’ when hundreds of thousands of migrants first starting arriving on the Continent last year.
He also accused leaders of ignoring the ‘differences in culture, religious traditions, and customs’ with the refugees, the vast majority of whom are Islamic.
He told RT: ‘Practicing family reunification and offering refugees generous benefits without integrating them into the labor market, the EU did not expect that such a great number of people would claim these rights.
‘This was clearly a mistake. The policy of multiculturalism has failed.’
He pointed to the mass sex attacks by gang of migrant men on women in Cologne.
He said: ‘Note the defiant behavior of refugees and their growing claims and demands. What happened in Germany on New Year’s Eve is a striking example of this.’
His comments came after it emerged Brussels was seeking a deal with Vladimir Putin to stop fuelling the influx of migrants into Europe.
A sharp rise in numbers entering the continent from Russia has led senior officials to plead with Moscow for help.
It comes despite warnings that, by bombing Syria and fuelling the flow of refugees, Russia is ‘weaponising’ the crisis to ‘overwhelm’ and ‘break’ Europe.
Meanwhile, migrants continued to ignore warnings about that their hopes for quick access to a better life in Europe would fail.
Many still gathered on Turkish beaches and piled into boats today for the risky crossing to Greece.
Five, including an infant, drowned in the attempt. Those who did reach Greece faced an uncertain future.
Already tens of thousands are stranded in the country, with many camped in muddy fields with only sporadic access to humanitarian aid.
And with the Greek-Macedonian border closed they have no hope, at least for now, to embark on the so-called West Balkan route northward which had been the path for those wanting to resettle in the EU’s more prosperous nations.
As EU interior ministers met in Brussels on the crisis, Austria urged migrants to give up hope of moving on.
‘The Balkan route is closed,’ Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner told reporters.
‘The biggest problem is that these refugees still have hopes and expectations and these hopes are being constantly fed.’
More than one million migrants have come to Europe in the past year, most of them to Greece by boats from Turkey, where millions fleeing war, persecution or abysmal poverty have gathered.
Once bused to the Greek mainland from their island arrival points, most headed to the border with Macedonia, and then onward to Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, the entry point to Austria and other prosperous EU nations.
Passage through those countries began being restricted last month.
On Monday, countries along the Balkan route decided to allow through only people with valid EU visas.
Nearly 42,000 people are now stranded in Greece, including some 14,000 people camped out near the crossing, many in pup tents.
Torrential rain has added to the desperate conditions at the site, with tents sinking in mud and soaked firewood making it impossible to start camp fires.
Government health experts at the camp say there is no sign yet of an infectious disease outbreak, but have been urging refugees at Idomeni to move to nearby army-built shelters.
Authorities say some 70 children at the camp have received hospital treatment over the past three days for fever and diarrhea.
EU and Turkish leaders agreed at a summit Monday to the broad outlines of a deal that would see migrants arriving in Greece having fled war or poverty would be sent back to Turkey unless they apply for asylum.
For every migrant sent back, the EU would take in one Syrian refugee, thus trying to discourage people from setting set out on dangerous sea journeys, often arranged by unscrupulous smugglers.
In the latest deaths, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency said five migrants, including a three-month-old baby, drowned when their speedboat sank Thursday off Turkey’s western coast, on its way to the Greek island of Lesbos.
The agency said nine people were rescued from the boat carrying Afghan and Iranian migrants.