Polish forces use water cannons to push back migrants trying to cross the country’s border with Belarus, an escalation they said was overseen by Belarusian forces as part of a deepening battle with EU
IMO, the article headline was overly simplified and lacked some much needed context, so I have changed the topic title to the article lede instead.
Thanks, planned to change it later and forgot I don't have title editing perms.
The worst part of all this is that it's entirely a matter of optics. Both govts actually want bad things to happen to those migrants; they each just want it to look like it's the other govt's fault, in the news.
It's my understanding that EU rules require the first EU country where refugees arrive to accept them. If it weren't for this, probably Poland would put them on a train to Germany.
I've been here 3 1/2 years now. I'm still figuring out how things work here. That said, it seems like what the EU rules say, and what they actually require, seem to be only distantly related.
I've read that a major point of contention is whether they are refugees or migrants. It's reported that Belarus is manufacturing the situation through its state-run travel agency. That agency obtains tourism visas and sells commercial flight tickets to Iraqis for thousands of euros with a promise of easy entry into Europe. So the people arriving seem to have some means.
It's a difficult situation. I imagine that life must've been very bleak back home for these people to try such a desperate maneuver. On the hand, another migrant and refugee surge in Europe during these politically turbulent times — especially as COVID is resurging and lockdowns are being re-implemented and Angela Merkel is stepping down and will no longer be able to wield her immense political power for refugees — would be politically toxic to the European project.