As migrants continue to flow into Croatia, Austria, Italy and Greece, the EU has slowly put in place a relocation program for legitimate asylum seekers from Eritrea, Sudan, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Syria. The migrant relocation program would include families and individual people traveling alone who can claim that they are not economic migrants and that they are being persecuted in their home countries. Some thirty Eritreans were recently relocated from Italy to Sweden when the relocation program began on Friday. Pegida supporters who have marched day and night over the past weeks against new arriving migrants in Germany, Netherlands, the UK, France, Austria and elsewhere are freaking out. The far right party is now the second largest in Austria. Mariane Le Pen's Front National is enjoying national popularity. Racism and xenophobia is also being allowed to grow via the media pundits, alarmists newspapers and authors who point all migrants with a wide brush.
Meet the West African migrants who turned Gambian styled yogurt into a delicious business. The crew of the well loved Barikama Yogurt in Italy. Photo first published at Ansa.it.
In Italy, a different approach is being taken by ordinary Italians. Some African migrants who have lived in the country for a few years or who recently arrived have been given some opportunities to work and contribute to Italian society. A local Italian NGO created a refugee football team in Rome as a way to help humanize and bring migrants closer to Italian society. Football has been used as therapy in post conflict zones and to unite opposing teams. While on the other side of Rome, a Gambian migrant has opened up a yogurt shop Barikama that is popular with Italians. Other fortunate migrants have opened up shops in smaller Italian towns ie Riace and are grateful to contribute to the local economy.
Panic in the UK: Longford vs migrants?
|The village of Longford on the outskirts of London, UK. One of many migrants watches a plane take off from Heathrow Airport next door. In addition to the noise pollution from the major international airport, Longford residents have become unnerved by new African and Afghan migrants temporary housed in Longford hotels awaiting transfers to other areas of the UK and London. Photo originally published on Telegraph.|
Dutch villages at center of migration in Netherlands
Back on continental Europe, the Netherlands is currently reeling from taking in over a 10,000+ migrants from Syria, Sudan and Eritrea. The Dutch have long been famous for their tolerance being compared to the Scandinavian countries in welcoming new migrants to their country. There are millions of Dutch people of Caribbean, Moroccan, Sudanese and Latin American descendants who are living well and contributing to Dutch society. Most of the Dutch people arrived in the Netherlands decades ago. In recent years, the Freedom Party led by the well known but politician/filmmaker Geert Wilders has won seats in parliament, are given a voice on foreign policy and are even popular among ordinary Dutch people. The small village of Oranje outside of the far Northern city of Groningen (also a college town), received the shock of its life when the villagers realized that 700 new refugees arriving in the Drenthe province would be temporarily staying in the village. Some of the villagers do not mind refugees staying for a few days as part of the Dutch government relocation program. Its the amount that has set Oranje on fire metaphorically speaking. Oranje is a village of 130 people. When the math is done, the refugees pretty much outnumber the villagers. An additional 700 migrants might be added to the village's growing population which has angered villagers and other neighboring areas following the migrant crisis. It is causing many villagers and city folks to begin harping the right wing and nationalists' perspective that the refugees are somehow coming to colonize Europe. PS Oranje is also the official name of the Dutch national football team and the Royal House Oranje-Nassau. National symbols aside, the Dutch are bracing for more migrants.