WINNING THE MIGRANT LOTTERY

After running the gauntlet across North Africa and the Mediterranean, refugees face one more challenge: random chance

Europe might have had its head in the sand, but we all know that problems do not go away on their own. Months and months of inaction in the Middle East, coupled with the ghosts of Scramble-for-Africa past and the ups-and-downs of developing nations have led to a surge of migrants knocking on Europe’s door. Thousands have lost their lives either drowning, dying of pneumonia or being deceived and killed by human traffickers.

Can we blame people for dreaming of a humane and prosperous life? If they are willing to die for it, the least we could do is meet them half-way. This has been the majority’s response and the European public has been pressuring politicians to welcome these refugees.

One million Eritreans have already left their homeland and thousands of Syrians have also created new lives for themselves in Europe. The continent is however just about bursting at the seams and as a result policymakers are rolling out a lottery scheme tomorrow, which will grant asylum to 500 lucky migrants each week. If a migrant’s name has not been drawn in eight weeks, the unlucky ones will be deported; unless they have passed certain skills assessments in line with European labour shortage projections.

Germany and Sweden (who had to pick up the slack for a long time) are lobbying the European parliament to force all EU members, by law, to admit migrants. The exact numbers will be determined based on the unique macro-economic situation in each country. But not all nations are so accommodating.

“We are awash with refugees and we don’t have the infrastructure or the money to deal with it,” says the Hungarian commissioner of migrants. “Last month alone 16,000 entered illegally. That’s why we are erecting a three-metre fence!”

Without a winning lottery ticket the chances of getting in are slim. So, dear migrants: “May the odds be ever in your favour.”

Warning: Hazardous thinking at work

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