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Thread: Germany's Refugee Crisis

  1. #706
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Full article: https://www.dw.com/en/german-interio...lan/a-44601059
    German interior minister presents his migration master plan

    Interior Minister Horst Seehofer finally got to present his migration "master plan" to the press on Tuesday, a month after it was blocked at the last minute by Chancellor Angela Merkel, precipitating a crisis in the German government that almost cost them both their jobs.

    Seehofer also hinted at the delay in publication by pointing out that the delayed release of his plans came on his 69th birthday, noting that this coincided with the return of 69 people to Afghanistan from Germany, and quipping, "that was not on my order."

    The minister did not appear to have been out to calm the waters more generally, calling reporters to a press conference in the Interior Ministry to present a plan that did not include the 11th-hour compromises made by the government last week, which averted his resignation.

    Instead, Seehofer, who is also head of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister party to Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU), emphasized that "this isn't a master plan of the coalition, but a master plan of this house." He was referring to the Interior Ministry, but could also be presenting a plan by his party.

    Seehofer had actually agreed to some compromises with Merkel last week

    The document published on Tuesday, he said, had been finalized on July 4, which meant that it did not include the compromises made last week with Merkel and with the coalition's junior partner, the Social Democratic Party (SPD). He also admitted that it was not yet clear which measures contained in the plan the center-left would agree to.

    An old new plan

    Perhaps most provocatively, Seehofer's plan still contained the term "transit centers," which the SPD had vetoed in favor of "transit procedures," and which has already been ditched by the government he represents. Still, the interior minister refused to admit it was a provocation – at least not in so many words. "It is not a provocation, but if you like, you could also see it that way," he told the Bild newspaper elliptically.

    In its introduction, the plan also demands that "asylum seekers work actively on their asylum procedures. We want to stop people disappearing during or after their asylum procedures, or hide their real identities."

    Seehofer's "master plan," now effectively published after it has gone out of date, included so-called transit centers situated at the German-Austrian border, in which asylum seekers would be held if another country was found to be responsible for their applications.

    Instead, the German government, apparently worried by the prospect of keeping asylum-seekers in what might look like concentration camps, agreed last week to an SPD amendment: implementing fast-tracked transit procedures in existing border police stations, which would ensure that asylum seekers are returned to other countries within 48 hours.

    This will require bilateral agreements with other European Union countries, especially Austria, Italy, and Greece. Seehofer said that such an agreement had already been made with Austria.

    Other measures in the master plan (most of which are backed by Merkel) include:

    - Tougher sanctions against asylum-seekers, especially those who return to their countries of origin while their cases are still being decided, as well as those who do not attend integration courses.

    - More "anchor centers": Seehofer has long since called for these "one-stop" centers, where asylum-seekers will be registered, have their cases considered, and be deported from all as quickly as possible. However, these would have to be administered at state level, and Germany's state governments have been reluctant to implement the plans so far.

    - More EU border protection: Apart from reinforcing the EU's border security force FRONTEX, as agreed at a Brussels summit at the end of June, Seehofer also wants to install "disembarkation platforms" in North Africa. The problem here is that no North African country has yet agreed to allow such a platform to be built. Merkel and Seehofer are both hoping that agreements similar to the one struck with Turkey two years ago can be reached.
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  2. #707
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    Full article: https://www.dw.com/en/horst-seehofer...ide/a-44636262
    Horst Seehofer faces calls to resign after deportee suicide

    It's a joke that may come back to haunt Horst Seehofer. On Tuesday, while presenting his so-called master plan for migration, the interior minister crowed: "It just so happens that on my 69th birthday, without any orders from me, 69 people were sent back to Afghanistan."

    Little did Seehofer know when he made this remark that one of those people had hung himself in a temporary camp in the Afghan capital some hours before. The 23-year-old Afghan Jamal Nasser Mahmoudi's suicide was announced by Seehofer's own Interior Ministry on Wednesday and confirmed by refugee workers in Afghanistan.

    In a brief statement, the Interior Ministry called the suicide "a deeply lamentable occurrence."

    Seehofer, who is also the leader of the Bavarian conservative CSU party, was already a controversial figure in Germany after leading opposition to Chancellor Angela Merkel's welcoming policy toward migrants. Many feared his rebellion could bring down the government. The governmental crisis was defused last week thanks to a compromise with Merkel's larger sister party, the CDU, and their junior coalition partners, the Social Democrats (SPD).

    Seehofer's approval ratings plummeted because of that public spat, and now voices demanding that he go are growing ever louder — even within the governing coalition.
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  3. #708
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    Seehofer's hardline approach to deportation is hitting some snags beyond deportees killing themselves:

    This morning the former bodyguard of Osama Bin Laden, Sami A. was deported to Tunisia.

    This afternoon, the responsible court decided that this constituted a "grave violation of judicial process and his rights", "grossly unlawful" and ordered the deportation reverted and Sami A. brought back to Germany.

  4. #709
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mihais View Post
    Who's going to work and pay YOUR pension?
    German Workers, Thank Refugees When Your Paychecks Are Growing
    By Carolynn Look
    14 July 2018, 05:00 CEST

    The arrival of more than a million refugees in Germany in recent years nearly tore apart the government. It’s also a reason why the country’s workers could soon be taking home more pay.

    Even if the influx of mostly young workers is likely to be a drag on gross wage growth as competition in the labor market increases, net pay might still rise, according to Oxford Economics’ Daniel Harenberg. His research shows that more overall contributions to Germany’s social insurance system gives the government room to keep individual burdens lower.

    The additional increase in net pay, compared to a scenario without refugees, could reach 0.5 percent by 2025 and accelerate to 2.5 percent by 2055, Harenberg’s calculations show. He predicts wages will rise around 3 percent a year through 2050.

    While the impact of migration on overall growth in compensation is small -- the existing scarcity of labor will already do a lot to push up wages -- the argument shows that, despite populist warnings, an overwhelming majority of Germans is set to benefit economically from an expansion of the workforce. Unemployment insurance contributions are set to fall next year as companies keep hiring and joblessness declines.

    To accommodate workers who will be crowded out by increased competition, Harenberg suggests the government could redistribute some of the gains from its improved finances, for instance by reducing taxes for low-income earners.

    “Immigration is an important component in solving the problem of an unfunded pension system and an aging society,” according to the economist. “As such, the refugee inflow offers some much needed breathing room.”
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...ks-are-growing

  5. #710
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    Parliamentary President Schäuble is currently investigating whether Seehofer misused resources of the Interior Ministry when creating his "Masterplan" that he published in his function as CSU chairman (not as Interior Minister). The Greens complained about it.

    Schäuble himself meanwhile has stated - with the full gravity of his office as #3 in the state, and as effectively the grey eminence of CDU ultraconservatives - that if Seehofer had not gone for a compromise Merkel should have kicked him out of office. Greens, Left and FDP as well as the (leftist) SPD youth wing are still calling for that anyway. In surveys, 73% of voters in Bavaria consider Schäuble's actions to have been damaging for the CSU in the upcoming election. Only 13% of Bavarians - and 41% of CSU voters - support a continuation of the current CSU sole government in that election.

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