Thousands of boat migrants from North Africa arrive in Lampedusa. More asylum seekers are being registered here than in seven years. Politicians are arguing about ways out.
In view of the sharp increase in the influx of migrants, the chairman of the European People’s Party, Manfred Weber, is calling for the federal government to change course. “Europe is de facto in a new migration crisis,” said the CSU politician to the editorial network Germany (RND, Tuesday). But this cannot be overcome by doing nothing. Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (both SPD) would have to give up their “denial attitude”. “In addition to humanity, strict control and limitations are finally needed.”
The general secretary of the FDP coalition party, Bijan Djir-Sarai, also put pressure on the matter. “I hope that everyone in this government has now understood how dangerous and how problematic this situation is,” he said on Monday evening on the ARD “Tagesthemen”. “The migration that we are currently experiencing in Germany is overwhelming the people in our country.”
FDP: “We have to act”
In a position paper, the FDP had previously reiterated its call for Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria to be declared so-called safe countries of origin in order to speed up the asylum procedures for citizens of these North African states. The Greens had repeatedly rejected this. “This is now a factual debate where everyone within the coalition has to step over their shadow,” said Djir-Sarai. “We have to take action.”
The Parliamentary Managing Director of the Union in the Bundestag, Thorsten Frei, referred to the accommodation needs. “Many cities and communities no longer know what to do,” the CDU politician told the “Rheinische Post”. He was responding to complaints from many municipalities about not enough living space and a lack of school and daycare places.
Union: Germany bears the main burden
“Germany has been bearing the brunt of this migration crisis for years,” Frei continued. For example, around 62,000 asylum applications had been submitted in Italy by June, compared to 162,000 in Germany. Italy has recently been in focus because thousands of migrants landed on the island of Lampedusa in just a few days on boats from North Africa last week.
In fact, according to data from the European Asylum Agency, by far the most asylum applications were made in Germany in the first half of the year: 30 percent of all applications – and therefore almost twice as many as in the next countries Spain (17 percent) and France (16 percent). . Behind them was Austria, then Italy.
Asylum applications in relation to residents
In relation to the population, from January to June the highest number of asylum applications per thousand inhabitants were made in the following countries: Cyprus (4.5), Austria (2.5), Estonia (2), Germany (1.9), Luxembourg (1, 8th).
The President of the German District Council, Reinhard Sager, warned that the population’s support for accepting refugees could decrease. “The federal government must therefore send the signal that immigration is limited as best as possible and proceeds in an orderly manner. It is also important that the federal states only redistribute people to the municipalities who have the prospect of staying,” he said RND.
CDU General Secretary calls for immediate measures
On Monday, after meetings of his party’s top committees, CDU General Secretary Carsten Linnemann called for border controls to be introduced at the borders with Poland, the Czech Republic and Switzerland as an immediate measure, following the example of the German-Austrian border. SPD parliamentary group deputy Dirk Wiese rejected this as not very effective. According to him, stationary border controls primarily tie up personnel, “which we need much more urgently to intensify effective veil searches,” as he told the Bayern media group.
Discussions also continued about Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU)’s demand for an upper limit for asylum seekers – specifically 200,000 per year “as a guideline”. Wiebke Judith from Pro Asyl told the “Stuttgarter Zeitung” and the “Stuttgarter Nachrichten” (Tuesday) that Söder’s proposal was unrealistic and violated human rights. “Anyone who wants to introduce an upper limit completely ignores what happens when the 200,001st person comes to apply for asylum – for example someone who fled Syria and has family in Germany. This person has a right to protection.”
Strack-Zimmermann: We have to solve the problem at European level
The FDP’s top candidate in the European elections, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, called on EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) to take action. “It’s time for the Commission President to finally react because we have to solve the problem at a European level,” she told the RND. “Europe’s external borders need to be protected.” It must already be clarified in the countries of origin whether the question of asylum can be answered positively or whether there is a reason for protection under the Geneva Refugee Convention in individual cases. “On the other hand, we must immediately send back refugees who come from safe countries of origin. All of this must happen now and immediately.”
Asylum applications by country 2023
I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.