The world has recently experienced high cases of conflicts in the Middle East. The conflicts have led to an increase in refugees and asylum seekers in Europe. Greece has experienced a great number of refugees and asylum seekers due to its closeness to countries of conflict such as Syria. The financial crisis has nonetheless forced Greece to put a restriction the people entering the country. As a result, a lot of criticism has been directed toward the Greek nation without any consideration for the reasons behind her actions.
First and foremost, the economic impact of refugees on the Greek nation has to be considered before any judgment is passed on her relatively more restrictive policies towards refugees and asylum seekers than before the Arab spring uprising began. The increase in the number of refugee seekers has several negative effects on the Greek economy which is already in a wanting state. Decreased job opportunities, more pressure on social resources and increased taxation for the welfare of refugees and asylum seekers are just some of the burdens that have to be shouldered by the already over-burdened Greek people (Eddy, 2009).
The financial crisis on the Greek economy left many people unemployed. Currently standing at an all-time high of per-cent any unrestricted entry of refugees will lead to a drastic increase in the unemployment rate in the economy. In turn, this will lead to increased competition for the already limited economic opportunities, and hence more nationals will be unemployed than supposed to. The Greek government is obligated as any other government around the world to ensure its citizens are prioritized in economic empowerment. Therefore, by restricting entry of refugees the Greek authorities are only doing their duty of ensuring Greek nationals adequately empowered before any other people are given access to economic opportunities.
Uncontrolled entry of refugees will lead to increased pressure on public amenities such as schools, colleges and hospitals. The recent financial meltdown led to the exit of key professionals in the medical, academic and engineering fields. The strain on hospitals and other facilities is, as a consequence of enormous due to an acute shortage of highly trained personnel. An increased inflow of people will further strain on these amenities that will lead to poorer services to the Greek public. Quality service is the right of every Greek citizen enshrined in the constitution (Cassimatis, 2010).
Further worsening of the already poor services will be a gross violation of this right. An increase of refugees due to unrestricted entry of refugees and asylum seekers will inadvertently lead to higher taxation of Greek nationals to take care of their welfare. The basic needs of the political refugees such as food and health services need funding. Such financial burden will have to be placed on the Greek government as a result of their role as the host nation. Even though partners such as the European Union can provide some financial support such support is likely to be unavailable or minimal due to the prevailing financial situation. Therefore, the Greek authorities will be forced to increase the tax on the Greek people. Coupled with the high inflation in the country currently among other challenges life in Greece became unbearable.
The social consequences of an increased number of refugees should be considered before any criticism leveled against the Greek nation. Given the ideological extremism involved in the Syrian war, the extremists might manage to enter the Greece in the guise of refugees. The entry of Islamist terrorists will increase the probability of a terror attack on Greek soil. It is hence in the interests of the Greek nation to restrict refugee entry in order to safeguard its national security interest. The limited economic opportunities currently available might also force the refugees and asylum seekers to engage in economic ills such theft and drug peddling.
The current political opinion of majority of Greeks is not in favor allowing refugees and asylum seekers into the country. Their concerns are genuine, taking into consideration the prevailing economic situation. As a result, the political authorities are mandated to give in to public opinion and reduce the refugees in the country. The danger faced by refugees in their home countries should not be overlooked. Therefore, stringent measures should be taken to ensure their basic human rights are upheld (Roth, 2011). Whether Greece is to accept more refugees or not their safety has to be ensured. Greece has several proposals. To begin with, other European partners should forward financial assistance to Greece to increase her capacity to handle refugees. With increased financial might, more facilities such as hospitals, schools and houses can be built to cater for the basic needs of the increased population. The European Union should also help in other ways such as technical and technological assistance.
In addition the European Union’s policy should be revised to allow free movement of refugees between member countries. This will enable refugees to move to other countries during tough economic times hence lessen the pressure on the Greek people. Such a policy would allow Greece to accommodate the increase refugees due to their ability to move to other countries later. Currently, their movement is very restricted hence their uncontrolled entry will lead to excessive pressure on the Greek nation. Greece further proposes that more efforts should be made towards peace creation hence eliminating the need for refugees and asylum seekers to seek refuge in the first place. Diplomatic intervention and sanctions should be used in the warring countries to stop the conflicts. Protected zones in the countries of conflict should also be established in the countries of conflict to house the refugees .NATO forces can be used to guard this zones. Such zones will remove the need for refugees to seek refuge in Europe.
Whether refugees should be allowed into Greece or not, their safety should be guaranteed at all costs. The restrictive policy Greece has towards refugees is to safeguard the interests of her citizens who are economically burdened due to the financial crisis in the Euro zone.
Cassimatis, L. (2010). American Influence in Greece. New York: Kent State University Press.
Eddy, C. (2009). Greece and the Greek refugees. New York: G. Allen & Unwin, ltd.
Roth, C. (2011). Migration In, From, and to Southeastern Europe: Ways and Strategies of Migrating. New York: LIT Verlag Münster.