Owen Jones: Merkel and co are all smiles, but refugees will continue to drown | Owen Jones

EU leaders were responsible for the so-called refugee crisis in 2015. This deal does nothing to end the misery

Europe isn’t suffering from a migration crisis: it’s afflicted by a humanitarian crisis. But to Europe’s leaders, refugees and migrants are not human beings, they’re statistics, or fodder for hateful political campaigns for charlatans to rise to high office.

Amid all the wrangling over an EU deal on migration, you’d think the number of refugees and migrants entering Europe was surging: it’s not. While over a million arrived on European shores in 2015, last year it was only 172,362; this year, fewer than 43,000 so far. But the real figure that matters is 12,397. That’s the number of recorded deaths between January 2014 and February 2017 of children, pensioners, men and women who spent their last minutes writhing in the sea as the Mediterranean’s waters entered their lungs. And responsibility for these deaths lie squarely with the European leadership.

Related: EU migration deal: what was agreed and will it work?

Related: Europe’s war on people smugglers is a bad joke | Lorenzo Tondo

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