In Syria a catastrophic war has been raging for almost a decade. Hundreds of thousands of people were murdered, millions are on the run. Most of them are fleeing to the West and inevitably end up at the borders of Europe.
A short glance at the world map shows us: Europe is the final destination. Here, on the western border of Asia, one cannot go on. Around 500 million people are living here. This Europe is very prosperous, with some of the richest countries in the world particularly in the Northwest of this continent.
If the war refugees from Syria are now going towards Europe, they end up on the borders of the poorest countries on the continent, located in the Southeast. The European Union’s largest refugee camps are situated there, in particular on the Greek islands in the Aegean. Now that neighboring Turkey has opened the borders to the European Union, more and more people are coming to these camps. The residents of these areas are completely overtaxed.
Now we Europeans are faced with the decision of how we want to deal with it. The politically “left” want to take in the refugees, the politically “right” don’t want that. (The “left” tend to live rather in cities, the “right” tend to live rather on the countryside.) The broad masses of the population stand in between and are hopelessly overstrained.
This question decides about the future of Europe.
Syria has almost 20 million inhabitants. As long as the war continues, every Syrian is entitled to asylum in Europe. As experience shows, most Syrian refugees want to start a new life in the wealthy countries of Europe, especially in Germany.
Since it is not possible to distribute the refugees to all countries across Europe, we have exactly two final options: Either up to 20 million Syrians find a new home in Germany (and become Germans) or we leave up to 20 million people to their fate (and thus to possible death). These are the facts.
The politically “right” fight against the first, the politically “left” fight against the second. The broad masses of the population are stunned in between. Most Europeans want none of both.
Do 60 million West Germans accept up to 20 million Syrians? Does every second German family have space and money for a refugee family? Where is the limit? The democratic answer to this is given in free, equal and secret elections.
Let us face reality: we have reason to believe that we Europeans will leave the people of Syria to their own fate. We therefore have only one option: let us create peace in Syria. And that means accepting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as the country’s legitimate ruler. As hard as it may be to accept for some.
P.S.: When Odysseus was faced with the murderous choice between Skylla and Charybdis, he decided to avoid the deadly whirl of Charybdis and instead approach the man-eating monster of Skylla. Six of his companions were killed.