Europe’s refugee crisis just won’t go away as 130,000 more migrants reached Greece in the first two months of the year – the same number that made the deadly crossing from Turkey in the first six months of last year.
The European Commission has voted to spend another 700 million euros to cope with the human tide.
The move was agreed in an emergency meeting in Brussels.
The money is destined for Greece and other European Union countries in the Balkans bearing the brunt of the thousands of migrants seeking to make their way to Britain, Germany and Scandinavia.
The money will be spent over three years on aid, such as food, water, shelter and health care.
Money won’t stop suffering
“The money will stop the suffering of migrants in Europe,” said the European commissioner for humanitarian aid Christos Stylianides.
The money comes from a budget earmarked to spend on aid in countries outside Europe, although the commission promise no needy nations would go without in favour of diverting cash within Europe.
The move was announced as tensions grow between migrants and police at two pinch points – the Greek border with Macedonia and the shanty town in Calais, France, near the ferry port and Eurotunnel links with Britain.
In both places, thousands of migrants have clashed with police who have responded with tear gas and baton charges.
Some migrants are undesirables, says general
More than 10,000 migrants are reportedly at the razor wire border fence separating Macedonia from Greece.
“This money will not solve the problem, just give some respite,” said Stylianides.
“The solution lies in resolving the conflicts in the countries where the refugees and migrants come from, especially Syria and Iraq.”
Meanwhile NATO commander, US General Philip Breedlove, argues Russia and Syria are deliberately trying to undermine security in Europe by aiding the flow of refugees.
“The flow includes criminals and terrorists along with other undesirables,” he said.
He also claimed the humanitarian crisis was orchestrated by the Russians to drive wedges between allies.
“The Syrians drop barrel bombs on cities to rid the area of people they don’t want, who then make their way to Europe to provide problems for other countries,” said the general.