Refugee Policy

The Human Limit

dpatopbilder Refugees from Syria in line to enter a refugee camp at Idomeni village, Greece, in order to cross the Greek-Macedonian border on the 25th of January 2016. Photo: Socrates Baltagiannis/dpa +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++
Refugees and migrants need more information about what they will face.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    • Germany and Europe as a whole faces huge political, social, economic and humanitarian challenges sparked by the hundreds of thousands of migrants seeking refuge on the continent.
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  • Facts

    Facts

    • Frauke Petry and Beatrix von Storch, top politicians in the anti-immigrant right-wing Alternative for Germany party, recently suggested use of firearms against refugees.
    • Chancellor Angela Merkel has begun backtracking on Germany’s open-arms refugee policy as she bows to political pressure.
    • Last year, 1.1 million refugees and migrants reached Germany. The flood of people to the continent has also created political fractures within the European Union.
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    Audio

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The debate about the refugee influx took a murderous turn when Frauke Petry and Beatrix von Storch of the right-wing populous political party Alternative for Germany (AfD) gave the rhetorical order to fire on refugees.

The discussion about immigrants in Germany seems to have lost control. It might be a coincidence that at almost the same moment, for the first time, a live grenade was thrown at a refugee center. But it fits – deaths will be acceptable, even factored in, to further incite the German population.

It’s now all the more important to keep a space open between the policies of the German federal government and the right-extremists’ strategic fantasies of violence, to weigh options, to discuss control strategies.

These need to go beyond mere urging for a European solution which is nothing more than the eternal repetition of empty words like “upper limit” but leaves the fundamental principle untouched: Nobody in Europe will shoot at people coming to us in the hope of help.

Such thought isn’t only necessary for practical reasons but certainly also for political hygiene. Nothing drives people away from moderate political parties, away from democracy, faster than saying there’s only one possible way to handle a situation.

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