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    Migrants grab for food delivered by volunteers as they wait for registration at the reception center for refugees and asylum seekers in Berlin, Germany, Friday, Sept. 4, 2015

    UN Official Calls on EU to See Refugees as Source of Economic Growth

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    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)

    Perception of refugees in the European Union should be improved as asylum seekers have the potential to contribute to European economies, High Representative for the UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) Nassir Abdulaziz Nasser told Sputnik Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik), Anastasia Levchenko — According to a survey carried out by the UK-based Populus research and strategy consultancy exclusively for Sputnik and published earlier in the day, more than every second respondent to the questionnaire in Europe and the United States opposed allowing refugees into their country.

    "We need to change the perception among people, make them not to look at migrants as at something negative. Migrants can be a good source of helping the society and even the economy. There are many countries in Europe that are already aging societies. Migrants sometimes are the ‘new blood’ and high-skilled workers. They help both the society and the economy," Nasser said.

    Nasser emphasized that xenophobia was dangerous and that media, governments, the private sector, and religious organizations should all work together in order to eradicate this problem.

    Over 710,000 migrants arrived in the European Union member states during the first nine months of 2015, according to the EU border agency Frontex.

    Several countries, including the Czech Republic and Hungary, have been criticized for their treatment of the arriving refugees.

    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)


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