Denial: UN High Commissioner Says No ‘Real’ Migrant Crisis in Europe

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The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, has claimed that while Germany saw a migrant crisis in 2015, there is currently no crisis in Europe, and some are over dramatising mass migration.

Mr Grandi said that despite a continued flow of migrants from North Africa and elsewhere, Europe is not undergoing a “migrant crisis,” saying: “the real refugee crises were and are in Africa, in the Middle East, [and] in Asia,” German newspaper Die Zeit reports.

“I have just returned from a trip to Bangladesh, where you have one million refugees in the worst of conditions, where you have an emergency — but not in Europe!” he added.

The UN official also slammed the rhetoric of the leaders of the European populist movement such as Italian leader Matteo Salvini, saying: “to say that there is an invasion of Europe, that we are a continent besieged by people coming to exploit us, is profoundly wrong”. He claimed such rhetoric promoted xenophobia and racism.

While the number of migrants coming into Europe has declined since the height of the crisis in 2015, nearly two-hundred thousand migrants applied for asylum in Germany last year alone.

The migrant crisis has also led to a massive demographic shift in Germany and other European countries, with at least one politician telling natives not to be afraid of becoming minorities in their own country, as is the case in many European cities already.

Multiple experts have also warned that the migrant crisis may not be over, claiming that the future population and economic trends in Africa could lead to millions seeking to come to Europe in the near future.

While the number of migrants entering Italy has drastically increased thanks to Mr Salvini’s policies on closing ports to migrant rescue NGOs, Greece and Spain have been seeing a rise in numbers.

Earlier this month, Spanish police sources say they expect there could be up to 50,000 potential new arrivals waiting in Morocco.

Like Mr Grandi, Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell played down the fact that over 20,000 migrants had come to Spain this year so far, saying: “We’re talking about 20,000 [migrants] so far this year for a country of more than 40 million inhabitants. That’s not mass migration.”

Berrell went on to claim: “Europe’s demographic evolution shows that unless we want to gradually turn into an ageing continent, we need new blood, and it doesn’t look like this new blood is coming from our capacity to procreate.”

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)



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