Vacant properties in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia are being confiscated by the authorities in order to accommodate an influx of migrants to the area, the CDU general secretary for the state has revealed.
“We are confiscating apartments. We are at the end of our capacity there,” Paul Ziemiak told the Markus Lanz talk show on ZDF in response to a question about the asylum crisis in his Iserlohn constituency.
He explained that the municipality of Nachrodt-Wiblingwerde, which he claimed has a “super-committed mayor” and a community “that is committed to refugees,” has been confiscating apartments “in order to create living space so that people are not on the streets.”
Elaborating on the issue, Ziemiak revealed that landlords who had chosen not to rent out second homes in the area were having their properties seized by the authorities and used as refugee accommodation, as social services in the area have become saturated.
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Almost 900 refugees for 2,500 local residents.
“They are empty and they will be confiscated so that people can be accommodated there,” he said.
On the wider asylum issue, the CDU politician criticized the federal government’s current immigration policy, which has left local administrations across Germany at breaking point.
“We can only manage this system if we know there is a limit,” he told the show. “The numbers have to come down. We cannot go on like this.”
Ziemiak echoed a proposal recently put forward by several leading CDU politicians including opposition leader Friedrich Merz, who back in July supported an EU-wide ban for those entering the bloc without permission from applying for asylum.
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The CDU, which is currently leading in national polls, claimed that the most humane way to ensure genuine refugees receive the help they need is to take them directly from neighboring countries of conflict and distribute them among EU member states.
“There has to be a solution. We need agreements that prevent people from coming to the European Union and not to the Federal Republic,” Ziemiak added.