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Pope Francis: Europe Should Share Migrant Burden ‘Fairly’


Pope Francis has urged European countries to share the burden of migrants fleeing poverty and war areas, following the growing doubt of acceptance.

He said that migrants deserve the international protection. Europe should step forward with a “moral responsibility” to provide help to migrants.

“My prayer, and also certainly yours, does not forget the crisis of the refugees fleeing wars and other inhuman situations,” Francis said.

“A unanimous response” from European countries is needed to “share the burden fairly”, he added.

Pope prioritises the “migrant right” as a top theme in his pontificate. He visited the Italian Island of Lampedusa, which was his first visit out of Rome as a pope. He commemorated the “mass in honour” of the thousands of migrants who lost their lives while crossing the Mediterranean.

Last month following the security concerns, the Pope said that Europe should not stop welcoming migrants.

“Europe has the means to defend the centrality of the human person and to find the right balance between its twofold moral responsibility to protect the rights of its citizens and to ensure assistance and acceptance to migrants,” Francis said in a report by The Indian Express.

Last year, more than one million migrants arrived in Europe to seek safe refuge.  In 2015, Germany received the highest number of migrants with more than 476,000.  Hungary is at the second country after Germany receiving over 177,130 applications by the end of December.

But amid the migrant-flux, several European countries have limited the flow of migrants they accept.

On Sunday, Greece has limited the migrant flow, which could increase three-fold in next month around 70,000.  While Hungary has decided to put a 280-mile fence along its entire southern border, to stop the flow of migrants. The fence will be extended along with the border of Serbia and Croatia.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for patience in handling the influx of migrants. She said she has no “Plan B” to handle the situation.

“There is no point in believing that I can solve the problem through the unilateral closure of borders. I have no plan B” said Merkel in a report by  DW.

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