George Soros is back and he has fighting words for European leaders. George Soros says that the EU can accept 300,000-500,000 refugees a year, although he recently also said that Russia was trying to destroy the EU by increasing the number of refugees fleeing from Syria to Europe – so does he mean Russia is trying to push the number above 500,000 and below that all is okay? The answer is unclear. Soros (who has said the same thing several times over the past few years) warns that the European Union is in danger of imminent collapse. He also says that the EU should pay $34 billion a year for this plan. We highly doubt that the citizens of Europe would agree to such a plan based on the experience the past year, but I digress… Below is more from Soros in the NYT Book Review:
Most of the building blocks for an effective asylum system are available; they only need to be assembled into a comprehensive and coherent policy. Critically, refugees and the countries that contain them in the Middle East must receive enough financial support to make their lives there viable, allowing them to work and to send their children to school. That would help to keep the inflow of refugees to a level that Europe can absorb. This can be accomplished by establishing a firm and reliable target for the number of refugee arrivals: between 300,000 and 500,000 per year. This number is large enough to give refugees the assurance that many of them can eventually seek refuge in Europe, yet small enough to be accommodated by European governments even in the current unfavorable political climate.
There are established techniques for the voluntary balancing of supply and demand in other fields, such as with matching students to schools and junior doctors to hospitals. In this case, people determined to go to a particular destination would have to wait longer than those who accept the destination allotted to them. The asylum seekers could then be required to await their turn where they are currently located. This would be much cheaper and less painful than the current chaos, in which the migrants are the main victims. Those who jump the line would lose their place and have to start all over again. This should be sufficient inducement to obey the rules.
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At least €30 billion ($34 billion) a year will be needed for the EU to carry out such a comprehensive plan. This includes providing Turkey and other “frontline” countries with adequate funding to maintain their very large refugee populations, creating a common EU asylum agency and security force for the EU’s external borders, addressing the humanitarian chaos in Greece, and establishing common standards across the Union for receiving and integrating refugees.
Soros ends off with the following warning:
The refugee crisis poses an existential threat to Europe. It would be irresponsible to allow the EU to disintegrate without utilizing all the resources it has at its disposal. The lack of adequate financing is the main obstacle standing in the way of successful programs in the frontline countries. Throughout history, governments have issued bonds in response to national emergencies. That is the case in Europe today. When should the triple-A credit of the EU be mobilized if not at a moment when the European Union is in mortal danger?
The full essay from Soros can be found here