You've got 20 people huddled in a lifeboat designed to hold 25. There are 60 people in the water, swimming toward you, each of them intent on getting aboard. The wind is freshening, the sea is rising and nightfall is approaching. What do you do?
Do you do nothing and let the lifeboat be overwhelmed, casting the 20 already aboard into the water to share the fate of the others? Or do you do what is necessary to protect the lives of those already aboard and leave the others to drown?
It's a tough choice, isn't it, but it's a dilemma now besetting Europe. Waves of refugees are in the water, swimming for Lifeboat Europe, hoping to get over the gunwales via Macedonia. Many are fleeing the devastation in Syria. Others, trying to find safety in Europe, are migrating through North Africa, heading for refuge in Mediterranean Europe. They're drowning by the hundreds.
Many Europeans already feel austerity's boot on their necks. What awaits them if their countries have to absorb waves of newcomers on a scale never before even imagined?
Tough decisions await Europe and you may find some of the answers hideously brutal, to us even barbaric. Wait, our turn will come.