As major news networks have finally noticed, Europe is facing an incredible migrant crisis. With the most refugees ever seen since the end of the Second World War, many countries are struggling to find a way to help (or completely shut out) these people. Notably, Hungary and Austria recently began closing off their borders and preventing asylum-seekers from even entering — regardless of their intended destination. Turkey and other southeastern European states are “nearing capacity” for the migrants, and many of the tens of thousands of more set their sights on western Europe, especially Germany. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, has extended a warm welcome to the migrants, however, as scores pour into the country by the hour. This generosity is especially impressive, given her record of xenophobic comments toward muslim immigrants as recent as 2010 (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-11559451). The German people have flooded the streets, offering food and toiletries for the refugees, as well as candy and children’s toys.
Germany, scholars from King’s College London speculate, is hoping its hospitable stance toward the migrants will aid its negative image resulting from its hardball negotiation with Greece in their financial crisis. However, the kindness extended to the exhausted refugees from absolute strangers offers reassurance during this period of calamity. Despite nearby countries’ efforts to keep out migrants and “protect their homes and jobs”, western European countries are stepping up to the plate (pardon the American sports reference). These countries — UK, France, Germany, and some of Scandinavia — are offering their plentiful resources and warmest wishes to those fleeing poverty and violence thousands of miles away. It’s nice to see a positive story in the news for once.