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By Philippe Legrain ADD COMMENTS

Europeans are growing accustomed to TV footage of Africans piled on to rickety boats arriving in the Canary Islands. They may be less aware of the thousands of people who are trying to enter Europe from the east.

Trying to hold the line is Ukraine, which detains in prison camps
migrants that fail to make it into the EU. They are held in limbo there, with neither money to return home, nor the possibility of
building a better life for themselves in Europe.

At the same time,
there is a burgeoning trade in smuggling migrants into the EU, with
Ukrainian officials bribed to turn a blind eye.

This is yet another example of
how Europe’s border controls are callous but ineffective – and
ultimately counterproductive, since Europe needs migrants to do the
jobs that locals no longer want to do.

For those of you who understand French, I highly recommend this superb documentary on what is happening to those stranded at Europe’s eastern door, produced by France 2’s Envoye Special.

Posted 17 Feb 2007 in Blog

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