‘We have space, but not for Germans’ – Protests against elderly residents being evicted to accommodate migrants labeled ‘far-right’

Are claims of “xenophobia” being used to shut down dissent over Germany’s immigration crisis?

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: John Cody

Germany is increasingly evicting its elderly residents to make room for refugees as the country deals with an extreme housing crisis brought on to a great extent by mass immigration. However, those protesting this trend are being labeled far-right and xenophobic by government officials. At the same time, they are complaining they can no longer partake in such evictions “silently,” as public outrage grows over a practice that has long been used in the past without as much scrutiny.

As Remix News has previously reported, the city’s municipal housing association evicted dozens of long-term residents in the German city of Lörrach, many of them senior citizens, to accommodate migrants. In Berlin, a Christian organization forced out over 100 seniors to make room for migrants there. It is a well-known secret in Germany that even non-profits now prefer to house migrants rather than the elderly, as they can earn more money doing so, which can also be a motivating factor for cash-strapped non-profits.

In the case of Lörrach, politicians and city officials were blindsided by the national press coverage that followed the eviction, with the Lörrach housing association stating it received over 1,500 angry calls and 250 emails criticizing the action. In front of the Green Party’s office, people protested with a banner that read: “We have space — but not for Germans.” The phrase was a reference to the popular “We have space” catchphrase the pro-migrant left has deployed across German towns and cities to signal they want more refugees.

The statement was short on specifics surrounding the situation facing seniors forced to leave their homes after decades. One senior, for example, called it an “early death notice.”

Municipal council labels protesters “xenophobic”

The city’s municipal council has now published a statement that this protest at the Greens’ office was conducted by right-wing extremists, and the government is calling for a “fight against the right” in the city of 48,000.

“We take a stand against hatred, hate speech and intolerance,” the statement reads. It also describes the backlash employees at the municipal association received as “xenophobic.” 

“We stand for a liberal city of Lörrach and an open society. We do not tolerate population groups being played off against each other.”

The entire municipal council signed off on the statement with the exception of two members, one from the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party and the other one from Free Voters (Freie Wahlern).

The same strategy of labeling protesters against immigration policy as “far right” has also been deployed in a number of Western countries, including Ireland.

Steffen Jäger (CDU), president of the Baden-Württemberg Municipal Council, said he is now concerned that the era of receiving refugees into cities and towns “silently” — including when locals have to be evicted — is “over.” 

“For several months we have had to realize that the available capacity limits at the regular reception facilities and in the meantime also on the general housing market have been exhausted,” he told FAZ. He warned that an emotional reaction to such evictions could grow in other areas of the country, saying the situation is “tense.”

Housing crisis across Germany

The issue is not just localized to Lörrach though, with the federal government fearing that protests could spread over the issue. Polling shows that the majority of Germans believe too many migrants are arriving in Germany; meanwhile, the federal government is making a push to legalize millions of migrants and attract millions more over the coming years.

Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser (SPD), who has claimed right-wing extremists are the biggest threat to Germany, is calling for more acceptance of such eviction practices to make room for migrants, saying “that war refugees should not be misused as a reason for long-standing problems on the housing market. This is wrong and irresponsible because that poisons the discussion and leads to agitation against refugees or against political decision-makers — and in the worst case, to violence.”

There have been no reports of violence in the case of the Lörrach or Berlin evictions. It is also true that much of the “long-standing problems” in the housing market are tied to Germany’s issues with mass immigration. Germany’s population hit a record 84 million in 2022, with this increase entirely tied to immigration, and many of these newcomers want to live in the same popular cities as many Germans.

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