Refugee Crisis

We Can't Let Everyone In

Refugees München
Refugees are welcome, but they should not be encouraged by extra benefits, argues the author.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Bavaria Economy Minister Ilse Aigner believes that Germany is overdoing its efforts in addressing the refugee crisis. She recommends that the country rethink its position and make itself less attractive to refugees seeking to leave their countries.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Most refugees arriving in Germany come through Bavaria.
    • The author argues that refugees’ benefits should be limited to a minimum while their cases are being reviewed.
    • The author wants to see an international conference on the crisis that would include Russia and the United States.
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  • Audio

    Audio

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Hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing, which makes for hundreds of thousands of individual stories. They include desperate mothers and fathers, traumatized children and abandoned adolescents, people without a home and with an uncertain future. Each of them deserves our honest sympathy.

But it is also clear that we cannot fight the world’s suffering alone, and that we cannot correct all the world’s evils in our country. We German politicians bear responsibility primary for the German people.

We have learned from our history, which is why we accept the politically persecuted here in Germany. We invest energy and money so that they can begin a new life, and we provide accommodations, language instruction, training, a livelihood, as well as friendship, relationships and a home.

Integration has worked particularly well in Bavaria in the past. Still, we must allow ourselves to ask whether we are using our sense of historic responsibility to do too much of a good thing – and whether, in light of the many wars, crises and conflicts in the world, we shouldn’t rethink our position.

As inhuman as it may sound, the more we do, the more people will make their way to Germany and pin their hopes on Germany. We will have to disappoint many of them.

The right thing to do is to limit benefits while cases are being reviewed to a level necessary for survival. We should examine every measure to determine whether it creates new incentives for emigration. Limiting access to the labor market is also necessary to figure out who is likely to stay.

It horrifies me to see the barbed wire in Hungary, but I think it's right that we are currently protecting Europe's external borders.

We simply cannot afford more humanity, and this truth has nothing to do with right-wing populism.

I love our free Europe, but I believe border controls are an appropriate reaction to the emergency situation. It horrifies me to see the barbed wire in Hungary, but I think it’s right that we are currently protecting Europe’s external borders. We are experiencing a mass migration that threatens to tear the continent apart.

The things that are necessary now must occur outside Europe. To overcome the refugee crisis, we must become involved in the crisis regions, both financially and diplomatically. We need an international conference that includes Russia, the United States and the regional powers. We must get to the roots of the problem if we hope to stop the flow of refugees.

I want the helpfulness of our people to be preserved, and I don’t want to see xenophobic attacks. I expect the European countries to agree on a plan based on joint and shared responsibility. Truths occasionally have a way of being uncomfortable, but I fear that we are in the process of overwhelming our population and our country. This can’t work.

To contact the author: gastautor@handelsblatt.com

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