Lucas: Eastern Europe's reaction to migration crisis plays right into Putin's hands ({{commentsTotal}})

In an opinion article published with the Center for European Policy Analysis, Lucas argues that it's time for Estonia and the rest of Easter Europe to show some generosity.

Former Soviet states are asked to take on a handful of refugees in the name of European solidarity, and the result is consternation, Lucas wrote in CEPA's web journal Europe's Edge.

"This reaction is deplorable and plays straight into Putin’s hands," Lucas warned. "For a start, all the ex-communist countries face declining populations. They risk getting old before they get rich. Migrants work hard, generate wealth, create jobs, pay taxes and stimulate economic growth," he said about long-term benefits outweighing short-term costs, adding that Western mistakes in handling immigration offer abundant lessons to minimize any risks.

"Refusing to take part would be unconscionably wrong. The short-term burden that the ex-captive nations are being asked to bear is minuscule compared to what other European countries are doing (and incomparably less than the many hundreds of thousands that other small countries such as Lebanon and Jordan are coping with)," Lucas said.

"Yes, some of the migrants may be just in search of a better life. And so what? Many people from what we used to call “eastern Europe” did exactly the same not so long ago," he added.

Editor: M. Oll

Siim Kallas.

Interview: Siim Kallas on ambitions, Estonian politics, and EU presidency

Following the local elections in October this year, Reform Party founder, former prime minister, EU commissioner, and presidential candidate Siim Kallas took on the job of municipal mayor of Viimsi, a community on the outskirts of Tallinn. In his interview with ERR's Toomas Sildam, Kallas talks about local government, his party, the EU presidency, and perspectives in Estonian politics.

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