Green Chancellor candidate Annalena Baerbock has spoken out in favor of bringing more than 50,000 Afghans to Germany. This included family members of local armed forces, subcontractors, women’s rights activists, and journalists.
However, according to Baerbock, 50,000 is a low-ball figure.
“We are now talking about the local staff, but we can see what massacres the Taliban are already doing in some provinces. That is why it is important to think ahead.“
Thousands demonstrate in favor of accepting migrants
Meanwhile, over the weekend, thousands of people demonstrated in several German cities in favor of accepting Afghan migrants. They demanded, among other things, a quick evacuation of local forces of the Bundeswehr, human and women’s rights activists, scientists, and athletes, reported several media outlets. In addition, deportations to the country are to be stopped and Afghans are to be given a permanent right to stay in Germany.
Around 1,700 people took part in the rally in Berlin. An alliance of migrant aid organizations, including the “Seebrücke”, which in the past had already campaigned for the reception of Mediterranean migrants in Germany, called for the demonstration under the motto “Afghanistan: Take responsibility – take on now!”. According to the police, around 2,500 people protested in Hamburg. There were rallies in Kiel and Siegen too.
The Association of Towns and Municipalities called for a worldwide quota solution for refugees from Afghanistan.
“It must be ensured that Germany, which has already taken in a large number of refugees from Syria, for example, does not bear the brunt in the end,” said the Chief Executive of the Association Gerd Landsberg.
EU Interior Commissioner Ylva Johansson had previously called on all EU states to increase their quotas for resettlement of migrants within the UNHCR program. “We shouldn’t make the same mistakes we made in 2015. We shouldn’t wait until the people are at the EU’s external borders,” said Johansson.
The Swedish Social Democrat reiterated her demand that EU countries should allow more Afghans to enter the countries legally and safely.
“We don’t want people to go on dangerous journeys where people smugglers take advantage of people’s plight.”
Austria against the EC stance
Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP), on the other hand, spoke out again against taking over Afghan migrants. It leads to problems accepting people who cannot then be integrated, Kurz said on Sunday. “I do not believe that we should accept more people in Austria.”
Austria is currently home to around 40,000 Afghans. In terms of population, this is the second-largest Afghan community in the EU.
AfD: Germany must follow Austria’s example
AfD leader and top candidate Tino Chrupalla called on the federal government to follow Austria’s example.
“Germany cannot bear any additional burden from Afghan refugees, and in our country, too, we cannot speak of successful integration of Afghan migrants. We cannot take in a single Afghan to whom we have no direct contractual obligations,“ Chrupalla said, adding: “If you look at the high levels of unemployment and crime among Afghan asylum immigrants, you can only reject Annalena Baerbock’s proposal to bring over 50,000 Afghans to Germany immediately. We have to follow Austria’s example, strengthen Europe and send the clear signal to all Afghans willing to migrate: No way!“
Title image: Annalena Baerbock, Germany’s Green Party co-chairwoman and top candidate for the upcoming German federal elections, speaks during a statement on the 60th anniversary of the start of the construction of the Berlin Wall in Berlin, Germany, Friday, Aug. 13, 2021. National elections in Germany schedule for Sept. 26, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)