Online poll | Majority would not host refugee family in their homes

Just 256 of 2,127 participants to an online poll say they would host a family of refugees in their homes

A whopping 69.9% of 2,127 respondents to an online poll by said they would not host a family of refugees in their homes.

The 1,487 voters outnumbered by far the 256 (12%) voters who said they would be willing to host such families, whereas 200 of the voters (9.4%) answered maybe, and another 184 (8.65%) votes, said they didn’t know.

Europe is currently facing the greatest refugee crisis it has had since the second world war, with nearly 340,000 refugees making it into Europe in just the first seven months of the year, and Germany alone expecting to welcome an additional million refugees by the end of the year.

A number of councillors, led by PN councillor Hermann Schiavone, are considering ways by which they can help dispersed Syrian refugee families. In the UK, at least 40 councils have responded to calls to help refugees.

European member states have failed to agree on a new system of binding quotas, to better share refugees across the EU, with the decision being deferred to next month despite the emergency meeting for interior ministers held on Monday. The quotas scheme was proposed by the European commission last week, and it enjoys the strong support of countries like Germany and France among others. Countries in eastern Europe however, continue to reject the policy, with Hungary’s government stressing that it would not be a part of the scheme.

On Sunday, Germany suspended Schengen regulations, and re-established border controls for travellers going from Austria into the country, in a bid to force other member states into a more coherent strategy to face the crisis. Germany’s interior minister Thomas de Maizière has also warned that borders with other countries might also be blocked.

Earlier this month, Germany had also waived Dublin regulations by allowing various refugees to travel from the over-saturated camps in Hungary. According to Dublin regulations, people must be registered and lodge asylum applications in the first EU country they enter. Although the move was praised for its human approach, it has ultimately proven unmaintainable as the suspension of free movement under the Schengen agreement proves.

On Monday, European governments agreed to set up refugee camps outside the union, including in Africa, as well as the construction of larger, more long-term camps in Italy and Greece.