The refugee problem in Europe has reached a crisis point and our governments are talking policy and theory whilst refugees die. They aren’t doing enough to help the tens of thousands who are risking their lives to cross the Mediterranean seas, or the plains of Central Europe, in search of a safe and better life.
Thousands are stranded outside Keleti Station in Budapest, unable to travel on to Germany, though Gerrnany will accept them. Thousands are drowning in the Mediterranean as they attempt to reach Europe from Libya and Syria.
In the Czech Republic refugees at the border station of Breclav are being ‘labelled’ with identifying numbers, written by the local police force onto their skin. This is disgraceful, horribly expressive of a Government attitude that suggests these individuals are merely inconvenient objects.
Though, in defence of the country in which I live I should point out that of all the nations of Central and Eastern Europe, the Czech Republic is by far the most liberal. It has long been so (the only one to stave of fascism between the Wars). It is the most tolerant, and the most secular. It has, in fact, accepted large numbers of immigrants from all over the world, including me. This ‘mistake’ in Breclav is an anomaly and will probably be rapidly resolved.
Our Governments and the people of Europe need to show kindness. True, there are long-term issues that must be addressed, but the current emergency demands only one immediate response – compassion and practical help – urgently.
Write a number on your hand and show solidarity with the refugees.