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    Germany's Refugee Crisis

    More than 300,000 refugees seek asylum in Germany in 2015: report

    More than 300,000 asylum seekers have registered in Germany since the start of 2015, German daily "Die Welt" has reported. The country's states have called for greater federal aid to cope with the influx.

    The latest statistics published in Saturday's edition of "Die Welt," which cited details of a telephone conference between the interior ministers of German states, revealed that 302,415 asylum seekers have already been registered between January and July of this year.

    The figure quoted by the conservative paper is considerably higher than that provided by the Federal Office for Migrants and Refugees (BAMF) which recorded 258,000 current requests.

    According to "Die Welt," the discrepancy is due to the fact that state figures have not yet been acknowledged at federal level and have therefore not been considered by the BAMF.

    On Friday, BAMF President Manfred Schmidt reported a "record" monthly influx in July, with 79,000 asylum seekers, mostly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

    60 percent increase on 2014

    The refugees' office had initially expected 450,000 asylum seekers in 2015 but had to revise its forecast to an unprecedented 500,000 people. According to "Der Tagesspiegel" newspaper, unofficial "internal numbers" at BAMF have estimated that Germany will receive as many as 600,000 asylum applications in 2015.
    [Germany's City and Community Association has called for shorter response times]

    Due to its strong economic health, Germany has become the leading European destination for migrants in recent years, especially for those fleeing poverty, war and persecution.

    In 2014 Germany received more than 202,000 asylum requests - a 60 percent increase on the previous year.

    Call for federal help

    Germany's states, which are redistributing asylum seekers on the basis of their capacity to do so, have repeatedly issued a cry for help as numbers continue to rise.

    The German City and Community Association called on Saturday for a federal level task force to control the country's asylum policy.

    Director of the association, Gerd Landsberg told local German paper "Neuen Osnabrücker Zeitung" that such a task force would be "an effective means to shorten the response time and improve coordination."

    The agreed 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) from the government for 2015 must be "at least doubled," Landsberg added.

    Germany's Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Barbara Hendricks (SPD), said on Saturday that social housing also played a huge role in the humane distribution of refugees.

    "We must and we want to reinforce this," Hendricks told "Rheinische Post" newspaper. The German government currently provides 518 million euros per year for social housing across its 16 states.

    Growing xenophobic attacks

    Another problem facing Germany amid the huge influx of asylum seekers is xenophobia, particularly in small towns where few foreigners live.

    Since the start of the year, violent incidents against refugee accommodation or planned homes have increased significantly. Officials recorded 202 attacks in the first six months of this year alone - the same amount as there were in the entirety of 2014.

    In response to the attacks, German Justice Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) has demanded better protection of asylum seekers.

    "Regardless of the reasons why people come to us and how long they stay - we must protect them better," wrote Maas in an article for RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland.

    ksb/jlw(AFP)
    http://www.dw.com/en/more-than-30000...ort/a-18622102

    One note on housing:
    Within Germany, refugees are currently distributed to states based on both population numbers and economic situation (mostly population). Refugees are first housed in groups of up to several thousand in larger camps - often containers or tents, in the South often old US Army barracks - with the largest such camp (in Gießen, Hessen) currently housing about 6,000 people. After registration and beginning their asylum application - which, due to lack of manpower and organization at state level may take up to six months - they are distributed to local districts (based on population numbers), where they are supposed to be set up in more proper housing; at the local level, main difficulties involve acquiring housing though, which means that at this level people too are housed in camps of several hundred e.g. in containers or converted sports halls. Individual housing allowance at both levels is 45 to 90 square feet per person, usually tending towards the lower end.

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    Source countries for the 180,000 asylum applications in the first half of 2015:

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    33% of all asylum applications came from people who immigrated from the Western Balkan. These have an acceptance rate of currently somewhere around 0.15%. 85% of all refugees from the Western Balkan in the European Union apply for asylum in Germany. This is partially because Germany has some of the best conditions for refugees and partially because the overload on the system means these refugees can stay in Germany for 6-8 months before being deported and trying again the next year. These groups are also rather disliked by the other 67% of refugees, to the point that at least around here there's large-scale brawls of e.g. Kosovarians against anyone else involving up to more than 100 people.

    The government, beginning August 1st, changed legislation in such a way that denied asylum seekers from these countries will receive a permanent immigration ban. Some leading politicians of our current conservative government (and of the opposition) are additionally making moves to switch procedures to the point where refugees from Balkan countries are deported - with the above ban - within 4 weeks of entering the country.

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    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    Put them on life ban entry for all I care. Because of them, I avoid direct flight to Germany. Police is very itchy when asking for the purpose of the visit.
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    Most actually drive over to Bulgaria and take a direct bus from there to Germany or drive to Greece and take the plane.

    Current discussion in this regard is about whether to declare Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro as "safe states" - like Serbia, Macedonia and Bosnia-Hercegovina already are since last year*. That would allow automatic dismissal of asylum applications. The entire concept is relatively widely among non-conservatives considered to be xenophobic Anti-Roma legislation.

    German industry is calling for a legal immigration concept for people from this region, mostly to satisfy demand for cheap labour.

    * the only other countries with this status are Senegal and Ghana (and all European Union members). Gambia also used to be on the list in the early 90s.

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    Ok, I'll bite and ask a question. Safe States: Serbia, Macedonia and B-H. Ergo non-Safe States: Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro? Why are they classified as none safe states?

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    The declaration as a "safe state" is solely based on asylum seeker numbers. We get a lot of applications from country x -> we reject most of those applications for lack of political persecution in that country -> we declare that country safe so that we can automatically reject them. There was a sharp rise in applications from the three "safe states" in 2012/2013, hence why they were declared "safe" in 2014 (the number of accepted asylum applications from those three countries in 2012 was exactly zero). Now we get a lot of applications from the other three, so we're thinking about declaring them "safe" too.
    The only reason why we aren't declaring half the planet as "safe" is that the required law change needs approval in both houses of parliament. The government has a majority in the Bundestag, but not in the Bundesrat - the senate. There, they have to make deals with the Greens which are on a lot of state coalition governments. And the Greens don't particularly like the "safe declaration" system.

    What's a bit different between the two groups of countries, and what's a bit ironical about it, is that asylum seekers from the three "safe" states are overwhelmingly Roma - 90% from Serbia, 72% from Macedonia and 60% from Bosnia-Hercegovina. From the three "unsafe" states it's the minority - from Montenegro it's 42%, from Albania and Kosovo only 9%. There were a couple court cases in Germany before the "safe declaration" that decided that Roma are not systematically persecuted by the governments in these states, thus not requiring asylum.

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    Senior Contributor Versus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbm3fan View Post
    Ok, I'll bite and ask a question. Safe States: Serbia, Macedonia and B-H. Ergo non-Safe States: Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro? Why are they classified as none safe states?
    Evil rumors say that it is all a part of a plan to re-islamize Balkans, thus returning it under neo Ottoman rule, trough demographic flow. That is why Albania and Kosovo and Montenegro are "non-safe" states, cause the flow is supposed to go from them to "safe-states" aka Serbia and Macedonia and re-islamize them. Once the corridor is formed, Eu will get its cheap gas trough pipeline and we will be impaled and beheaded as before. But who cares...It didn't mattered than and it doesn't matter now.

    I am on a verge to accept this as a valid argument, especially after studying British policy towards Serbia trough 19th century. My favorite part was,when some lord said that England should send its fleet to sink Serbia. I found that to be amusing, but now I am not laughing.
    Last edited by Versus; 10 Aug 15, at 16:53.

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