Malaysia and Indonesia reversed themselves on the issue of receiving refugees, deciding to provide shelter after all to thousands of boatpeople trapped at sea after fleeing Burma and Bangladesh. But the relief will only be temporary, and, in an attempt to discourage future refugees, will extend to just 7,000 migrants. Thailand, whose crackdown on human trafficking helped to create the crisis, remains opposed to taking in any migrants, though it said it will provide medical care to the sick among the boatpeople.
The UN welcomed the new policy of Malaysia and Indonesia, but in Europe the plan to route the migrants to EU member states isn’t faring as well. French President François Hollande doubled down on earlier remarks by the country’s PM Manuel Valls opposing a EU migrant quote:
“It’s out of the question to have immigrant quotas because we have rules” on border checks and policies for overseeing immigration, Mr Hollande said. “People who come because they think that Europe is a prosperous continent . . . must be escorted back, that’s the rule,” Mr Hollande said at a press conference with Angela Merkel, the German chancellor.
Spain has also now come out against the details of the EU plan, putting it in the camp with not only France but also the UK, which was the first nation to oppose the scheme.
Ultimately, of course, neither of these are lasting solutions. And problems like these are only likely to multiply and fester if there is any serious decline of American power and will to support a world order.