OPINION

Inconsistency

…Western governments ought to finally abandon their inconsistent policy on illegal migration: While they take measures to prevent the illegal flow of migrants toward their territory, in practice they tolerate the immigrants who, in one way or another, manage to settle on their territory. This inconsistent policy not only fails to curb the flow but in a way also fuels the phenomenon of illegal migration. The fact that many finally manage to settle in the Promised Land vindicates hope and sustains the dream of a new life. As a consequence, a growing number of Third World citizens are encouraged to make the leap. Understandable as their desire for a better life may be, mass migration to the West is no viable solution. The phenomenon can only be tackled with a comprehensive policy. Intensive and strict controls on the European border comprise only one element. The other is the exertion of strong pressure on transit states such as Turkey. The third and most important parameter is strict policies for the return of refugees. This policy, however, can only yield fruit if a fourth measure is implemented, that is the provision of substantial development aid to poor countries and, particularly in the event of crises and wars, the setting up of ad hoc settlements for the reception and relief of refugees. The government, opposition parties, and Parliament displayed rare unanimity in condemning the suggestions made on CBS’s 60 Minutes program that the Athens 2004 Olympics might be unsafe and that members of the ruling PASOK party might have ties with members of November 17. On the show, former US ambassador Thomas Niles claimed of Greek officials: «They are tolerating a terrorist group because from their domestic political perspective, revealing the terrorist group is more costly than not.»