By Chuck Thompson | Excerpted from the September 2015 Socionomist
As Germany works to accommodate 800,000 new refugees, Hungary builds a massive wall along its border with Serbia to keep refugees out. What drives such starkly different attitudes toward the migrant and refugee crisis in Europe? And could we see broader manifestations of exclusion even in parts of Western Europe?
Socionomist Chuck Thompson proposes answers in this timely article. Read the excerpt below.
When migrants stepped off trains in Munich, Germany, in early September, cheering crowds greeted them with balloons, food, water and toys. Germany plans to take in 800,000 refugees this year at a cost of $11 billion.
But in Eastern Europe, where stock markets of multiple nations reflect a much more negative mood than their Western European brethren (Figure 1), citizens’ feelings about migrants are decidedly less positive. In Warsaw, Poland, some 5,000 people marched and chanted anti-Islamic slogans. In Prague, Czech Republic, about 800 protesters carried banners with slogans such as, “I do not want refugees and Islam in the Czech Republic.”
Hungarian authorities sealed their country’s southern border with Serbia and said they planned to build a razor-wire fence along part of the border with Romania to keep refugees out. On September 16, refugees broke through a border gate at the Serbia-Hungary border. Hungarian police repelled them with tear gas and water cannons.
Figure 1: Markets reflect Eastern Europe’s Negative Mood Trend
Read the rest of this article to learn how negative social mood trends in Croatia and Romania shaped the response of those countries to the European migrant and refugee crisis.
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