Madrid, September 6- British Prime Minister David Cameron visited Spain on Friday to discuss with his Spanish counterpart Mariano Rajoy to the current refugee crisis in Europe. Both Cameron and Rajoy have shown themselves to be opposed to their respective nationals accepting more refugees from the Syrian conflict, despite the traumatic images of their struggles to reach Europe. Â Rajoy told a press conference Friday afternoon that in the meeting he and Cameron had discussed economic matters, tourism, EU reform and international issues, as well as the question of migration. Rajoy failed to give a commitment to take any new asylum seekers.
“Asylum requests this year are triple then they were last year,” he said, adding that the quota issue will be reassessed later this month….Spain is constantly giving asylum to people…and we are going to meet our commitments.”
Cameron was more forthcoming over what Britain would do: “given the scale of the crisis and the suffering of the people, today I can announce that we will do more, providing resettlement for thousands more Syrian refugees,” he said.
The British prime minister said his country would “provide a further 100 million pounds (151.7 million U.S. dollars)” in aid, of which 60 million pounds (91 million dollars) of this funding will be used to help Syrians still in Syria.
“The rest will go to neighboring countries, to Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, where Syrian refugees now account for one quarter of the population,” Cameron said.
“For those economic migrants seeking a better life, we will continue to work to break the link between getting on a boat and getting settlement in Europe, discouraging those who don’t have a genuine claim from embarking on these perilous and sometimes lethal journeys, but for those genuine refugees fleeing civil war, we will act with compassion and continue to provide sanctuary,” he said.
Because of the U.S.-led military strike against Libya and conflicts between the government and Western-supported opposition forces in Syria, refugees from these countries have flocked to Europe.
The situation has evolved into a severe crisis recently as some European countries are reluctant to open their borders to the ten of thousands of refugees stranded in railway stations and camps.