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“They must be returned,” – the former German vice-chancellor called for a change in immigration policy

“They must be returned,” – the former German vice-chancellor called for a change in immigration policy

Germany must implement a shift in immigration policy, said former German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, former head of the German Social Democratic Party, in an interview this week, for which “democratic parties” must work together.

We need a new refugee policy

“We must combine aid and humanity with clear and enforceable rules to reduce migration” – He said Left-wing politician of the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND). According to him, they should look for new ways “cross-party” without the help of the Alternative for Germany (AfD).

He added as a reason: People cannot be accepted without borders, and there is no right to unlimited immigration anywhere in the world. He also noted that the right to asylum and the Geneva Refugee Convention could no longer provide an adequate response to the “modern phenomenon of mass migration”.

Would they decide differently today? Then-Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel and then-Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Bundestag in Berlin in 2014. Photo: Wikipedia/Tobias Koch

Sigmar Gabriel expects supporters of asylum seekers to protest loudly over his opinion.

“However, in the long run, a smart, new refugee policy may be morally better than the old one, if it provides more local help for those who need it most.”

When asked what specifically should be done if a boat carrying hundreds of African refugees appears off the Italian island of Lampedusa or the Greek islands, he replied: “Then these people should be taken one by one to the country from which their boat departed.”

At the same time, he also emphasized the need to open “a whole new chapter” in cooperation with Africa, as “projects pointing to the future” are needed, for example, in the fields of solar energy and water management.

Sigmar Gabriel’s call for a change in immigration policy is also noteworthy because the politician was Germany’s vice chancellor during the 2015 refugee crisis.

At that time, his country accepted an unlimited number of asylum seekers of Syrian, Afghan and other origins – Chancellor Angela Merkel at that time justified the need for humanitarian assistance.

Many have since criticized the policy, saying that mass and largely uncontrolled immigration is a serious financial burden on German society and increases the risk of crime and terrorism. (We have written here about the relationship between immigration and crime.)

Another migration wave

In any case, immigration to Europe will again increase significantly this year.

in the first seven months of the year 175,000 people have applied for asylum In Germany, an increase of 78 percent compared to the same period last year. The largest group of asylum seekers are Syrians (52 thousand), Afghans (31 thousand), and Turks (23 thousand).

parallel to Italy More than 100 thousand immigrants I arrived illegally as of mid-August, which is more than double last year and almost triple the values ​​of the previous year. (So ​​it appears that even Meloni’s populist right-wing government could not stem the influx.)

Brussels also feels the problem, which is why it signed an agreement with Tunisia in July to curb illegal immigration. The European Union will support the North African country with about 900 million euros if it helps curb the flow of migrants. (Meanwhile, the agreement was immediately criticized by human rights groups arguing that Tunisian authorities were treating migrants inhumanely.)

The crisis is grinding for anti-immigrant parties: in Germany, for example, the popularity of the aforementioned AfD has reached unprecedented levels – by August it had already exceeded 20 percent – and, according to experts, it will be the right line. able to apply at the European Union level as well.

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