German opposition’s call for ‘asylum pause’ slammed by hardline AfD as not enough

Leading CDU politician Jens Spahn said Germany needs a temporary break from asylum seekers and called on Europe to shut its borders

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Thomas Brooke
FILE - Former German Health Minister Jens Spahn. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Germany needs a temporary pause on new asylum seekers arriving into the country, a leading member of the opposition CDU party has claimed.

Jens Spahn, who served as Germany’s federal health minister during the coronavirus pandemic, told the Bild newspaper in an interview published on Sunday that the European Union must stop all newcomers from breaching its external border, insisting migrants and asylum seekers would soon get the message that undertaking the journey to Europe will no longer work.

“Germany needs a break from this completely uncontrolled asylum migration. Experience shows that we cannot significantly reduce the numbers through deportations. That’s why a clear signal is needed at the EU’s external border: No one can go any further on this path,” Spahn said.

“We must now enforce this consistently. Integrating people traumatized by war or violence into our society and into our labor market takes time and a lot of resources. This can only work well if the number of additional asylum seekers decreases significantly,” he added.

The former health minister insisted that organized legal immigration into Germany was still necessary and said that a CDU-led federal government would still target skilled workers to come to the country. He also stated that despite calling for a pause in asylum seekers, Europe could still receive up to 500,000 refugees a year through quotas, claiming that these individuals should be picked up from their home country and flown to Europe.

“The United Nations refugee agency should choose who can come. Currently, the law of the strongest applies, almost only young men come. But women and children are much more vulnerable,” he told the tabloid newspaper.

Spahn’s comments echo a policy first proposed last month by the CDU parliamentary party’s deputy chair Thorsten Frei, who called on Brussels to abolish the right to asylum for those arriving in the bloc and instead introduce quotas whereby the most vulnerable refugees are taken directly from the source country. The policy was seemingly adopted by the CDU leadership, Friedrich Merz, days later when he told journalists: “This is an important and good contribution to solving a problem that we have been seeing for years and where there are currently no really good and convincing solutions.”

The latest asylum crisis in Germany has seen a surge in support for the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which is currently sitting in second place in the national polls.

The party issued a press release following Spahn’s interview, berating the leading opposition party for only proposing a “pause” in illegal immigration and claiming that after the temporary break, the CDU would continue to promote open borders as it did under its previous administration led by Angela Merkel.

“The myth that the CDU would object to illegal mass migration has once again been disproved and debunked,” the party stated, highlighting Spahn’s willingness to allow into Europe up to 500,000 refugees from source countries every year despite the proposed pause.

His quota requirement in connection with the extremely low number of deportations means that the face of Europe will be fundamentally changed,” the party warned.

“Germany does not need a ‘pause’ but an immediate stop to mass migration,” the AfD added.

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