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Der Standard - Austria | Tuesday, February 15, 2011

More solidarity with the South

The EU must show solidarity with the Southern European countries where the refugees are landing, writes the left-liberal daily Der Standard with an eye to the arrival of thousands of Tunisian refugees on the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa: "The flood of refugees from Tunisia across the Mediterranean shows that people's desire for freedom is not limited to their home country, but also points them in the direction of Europe. Like Spain and Greece, Rome has rightly complained for years that the other EU states are leaving them in the lurch regarding the refugees. It's now more pressing than ever that we should all share this burden together. Because up to now the states on Europe's southern border have been hit far harder than the rest, all because of their geographical position about which they can do nothing. That is a case for European solidarity. The question of what to offer these states is also more urgent than ever. The EU's former Neighbourhood Policy or the Mediterranean Union were thought up as placebos, replacements for membership - in full knowledge that these states don't fulfil the key accession criteria."

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