The miles-long tailbacks of freight lorries waiting to go through the Euro Tunnel on our side of the Channel and the consequent huge costs caused by the nightly attempt of hundreds of migrants to hide themselves . . . in lorries and trains on the French side, not to mention hold-ups to English holiday-makers going abroad and foreign tourists coming here, ought to concentrate the minds of EU politicians soon enough, particularly David Cameron and Francois Hollande, even if the build-up of tens of thousands of migrants in Greece and Italy hasn’t done so far.
The ‘humanitarian’ rescuing of migrants in their frail boats crossing the Mediterranean to Greece and Italy — the present policy of the EU governments — is not humanitarian at all because it’s only encouraging even more swathes of migrants to attempt the crossings in their frail boats and dinghies — and, incidentally, putting yet more money into the hand of the brilliantly organised trafficker gangs who by now have well-worked migration trails that span central Asia and all of sub-Saharan Africa. It’s not humanitarian because a mountain of resistance is now building up in the indigenous populations of European countries.
There’s only one genuinely humanitarian way of solving the problem and that is to prevent the migrants setting out from their villages and towns in the first place. And that means either gunboats patrolling the coasts from which the boat people set out, or bribing the traffickers. This is what Spain did in the case of their migrants some years ago and very effective it was, too. It bribed the Moroccan government to impound all migrants in a barbed wire camp and to keep them there until word got back into Africa and the supply of migrants via Morocco finally stopped. Tunisia or Egypt won’t tolerate migrants on their own account, so the result is that all African migrants are funnelled through anarchic Libya.
The EU will have to wake up soon. It will be interesting to see how soon that “soon” will be — such is the absurdity of 28 politicians in one room (even more by phone) trying to come to any sensible decision quickly enough. But unlike the Greece dilemma — which they have kicked down the road again — this problem is already becoming too serious for that. (Or perhaps they’ve attempted to bribe the traffickers already. If so, the bribes will only have to increase in due course, or the traffickers will be replaced by others.)