Smugglers are one step ahead

It looks like the cat and mouse game, an endless, that is, chasing of life and death. Refugees and migrants want to come to Europe either because they have been persecuted from their homelands or because they want a better future. In front of them they find closed borders and an increasing aggression. Europe for its own reasons justified or not has decided to close its doors to foreigners.

So, before a migratory route closes well, another more difficult and risky one appears. We have seen this happen many times. As soon as the Balkan route was closed in 2016, mainly following the pressure from Austria, flows in the Mediterranean increased. Italy acted swiftly, and with agreements made with Libya it managed to greatly limit the increases.

Now, a new Balkan route has emerged. As the French commander of Frontex said, refugees and migrants from Turkey are going to Greece and from there through Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina head to the north. Then through Austria and the Czech Republic they arrive in northern Europe. According to data, about 800 people each month use this route, much less than the 200,000 in 2015.

Smugglers are almost like hackers. They are almost always one step ahead of the prosecution authorities. Their profits amount to billions of euros each year and are therefore unwilling to give up. Thus, they are constantly finding new ways and new routes to satisfy their “clients”. It does not matter if it is becoming increasingly dangerous, the new routes. Indeed, the more difficulties there are, the higher the profits.

The new Balkan route has already been perceived by Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurts, who has made the security of the European Union’s external borders a priority for the Austrian presidency this semester. It is certain that in the next few days, we will see this route closing. Refugee flows, however, will not stop. They may be reduced for a while. Until the next route is found.