Europe has barely even seen the start of the migrant influx, Germany’s Development Minister has warned.
Gerd Müller said only 10 per cent of Syrian and Iraqi migrants have reached Europe so far and “eight to ten million are still on the way”, with even more to come from Africa.
“The biggest movements are ahead: Africa’s population will double in the coming decades,” he told Bild am Sonntag, adding: “In the Sahara up to one million people have died trying to escape.”
The European Commission, he added, has lost a significant amount of authority thanks to the crisis. “The protection of external borders is not working. Schengen has collapsed. A fair distribution of refugees has not taken place,” he said.
He said that in the digital age we live in, more people than ever know about the prosperity of Western nations thus making it more likely they will try to travel here.
He also called for a 10 billion euro “Marshall Plan”, with European states paying to rebuild war torn countries such as Iraq, Syria and Libya. “All states must pay, especially those that receive no refugees,” he warned.
When asked about calls from Bavarian regional president Horst Seehofer to put a cap on the number of migrants admitted to Germany, Mr Müller responded: “We need a reduction. If we have a million again like last year, we cannot successfully integrate them at the same time.”
Mr Müller’s comments echo those of Heinz Buschkowsky, an MP from the Social Democratic Party who predicted the total number of migrants reaching Germany by 2020 would be between five and 10 million.
“The situation is irreversible,” he added. “The people who are here now, this society is challenged to integrate them and to offer them a perspective on life.”
He also blasted those who treat the migration debate with empty platitudes such as “refugees welcome”, saying: “This social romanticism, these beautiful speeches, for someone who comes from experience is very difficult to bear.”