When I write about the migrants and refugees flooding into Europe I realize that I am potentially entering the world of the NIMBY !
Having twice been a migrant myself and having good friends who are migrants I do have some experience of the situation and a lot of sympathy for their individual predicaments.
On the other hand (why is there always another side to things?)
I have spoken to people in UK immigration who tell of the corruption, sexual abuse, violence and problems (I am not talking about terrorists here but normal migrants) that some of these people can bring to where you live.
The thing that brings me to write anything at all is that –
Our local Camara in Portugal is cooking up a deal to take on a large number of migrants from Syria and elsewhere (many migrants say they are from failed states so that they can’t be sent back) They have the accommodation which is brand new and empty (I won’t open up that can of worms) So in theory they could take on 100 to 200 and rake in whatever money and kudos the EEC is offering.
Sounds like a win/win plan so far.
The local area has some 5,000 inhabitants and the actual town around 1200 which would mean that the population of the town could be 16% foreign migrants and another 3 or 4% European migrants. While a ratio of 1 in 5 people being foreign is high and will take some getting used too I don’t believe that there will be anything like the right amount of planning and preparation a, for the sake of the migrants and b, for the sake of the local population. The schools, doctors, health center, dentists, Police.
Or even some religious fundamentals like a halal butcher. The nearest that I could find is 200 Km away in Almada. Which is an awful long way on public transport! – Source The Halal Institute of Portugal ( HIP ) is an organisation devoted to analysing , monitoring , inspecting and certifying of halal products considered for human consumption.
As far as I can see there is absolutely no experience of dealing with such a demanding situation in the Council staff. I would like to know if the local authority has been in contact with other councils around Europe who have already gone through an influx of migrants to see what lessons can be learned quickly and make the transition smoother for everyone. Somehow I doubt it happened.
With the “on the knee” last minute culture which is prevalent here I see trouble ahead.
Once the migrants rest up, take stock and realize that there is no work here they will be off to pastures new in the northern European countries.
Our little town will be left behind like an oasis in the desert filled with litter and those not fit enough to travel.
It would be a tragedy if this little town became a halfway house for the human train of people heading north.