Mercosur condemns Europe closing borders to refugees

September 25, 2015

Austria, as well as Serbia and Croatia, have joined other European countries in temporarily closing their borders.

On September 21, Croatia closed its last checkpoint for trucks on the Serbian border where thousands of refugees are waiting to cross in the hope of a better life.

Authorities announced the measure after closing seven other checkpoints that more than 27,000 refugees passed in recent days, TeleSUR English said.

Germany has reinstituted border controls on its frontier with Austria, for the first time since 1995, and Denmark has blocked motorways and suspended train services in an attempt to stop refugees travelling from Germany to Sweden, which has Europe's most open refugee policies.

Several European Union countries, including Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and Latvia, have rejected the idea of a mandatory quota system for resettling refugees being pushed by Germany and supported by a majority of EU countries.

The response of European governments to refugees has not reached the level of brutality and criminality shown by Australian governments responding to much smaller numbers of refugees. But EU governments are adopting some Australian tactics, including branding refugees as "economic migrants" and "illegal immigrants", using the rhetoric of national security and imprisoning refugees.

Denmark and Hungary have adopted the Australian tactic of running advertisements in source and transit countries telling refugees they are not welcome. On September 7, the Danish government ran such adverts in Lebanese newspapers. Hungary did likewise on September 21.

Meanwhile, the South American regional body Mercosur issued a declaration on September 21 rejecting the “xenophobic” attitudes of European countries, TeleSUR English said.

The declaration also expresses the bloc's willingness to find a solution to the issue in international and multilateral forums.

Like the article? Subscribe to Green Left now! You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

You need Green Left, and we need you!

Green Left is funded by contributions from readers and supporters. Help us reach our funding target.

Make a One-off Donation or choose from one of our Monthly Donation options.

Become a supporter to get the digital edition for $5 per month or the print edition for $10 per month. One-time payment options are available.

You can also call 1800 634 206 to make a donation or to become a supporter. Thank you.