The dispute in the grand coalition over the admission of migrants from the burned camp Moria is getting out of hand. SPD leader Esken threatens to take “other steps” if the Union continues to oppose.
SPD leader Saskia Esken has already called for a commitment from the Union to bring several thousand people to Germany. It must be “a high four-figure amount,” she said on ZDF Sunday night. “It has to be decided tomorrow.” From the point of view of CSU chief Markus Söder, the federal government should “significantly increase” the number of people admitted. It was “feasible for Germany to take a significantly higher share,” he told the “Bild,” without naming a number.
The party committees of the CDU and SPD meet in the morning for regular deliberations. Esken is planning a press conference with the SPD candidate for Chancellor, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz. The former rival of the leftist party leader had also called for a stronger European commitment on Saturday, but now more cautious than Esken, only a German “willingness (required) to take in more refugees”.
Esken did not want to specify what “a high four-digit amount” actually means. By common understanding, it would be a number well over 5,000. She hoped for an offer from the Union parties that would make a coalition committee obsolete, she said. When asked about the voting record in the Bundestag, where the SPD has so far, together with the coalition partner, rejected the opposition’s call for more refugees, the party leader said: “If the CDU / CSU does not give up its blockade, we need to consider other steps. “
The news portal “The Pioneer” reports that the SPD wants to adopt a board decision on Monday. In it, the Social Democrats called for rapid local help, the admission of more refugees than the decided 150 children and more commitment from the government to a European solution. It is now important, in close cooperation with the Greek government, to provide rapid humanitarian aid to defuse the human tragedy on the ground. Speed is key. At the European level, the SPD demands that it should no longer be accepted that the solution to the distribution issue is blocked by refugees.
At the request of Greece, Germany has so far agreed to accept 100 to 150 unaccompanied minors from Moria, as has France. A total of 400 unaccompanied children and young people will be admitted together with eight other European countries. Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) has already made it clear that he would like a solution for families with children in the next step.
The situation remains tense after the big fire in the Moria refugee camp on Lesvos. Photo: Petros Giannakouris / AP / dpa.
Weber warns: “Don’t repeat 2015 mistakes”
Many in the Union fear the receipt of a large number of people as a signal with a pulling effect: the more that would be accepted, the more would follow or be encouraged to flee. For Germany to do it alone would be “completely wrong”, said Welt deputy chairman of the parliamentary group Thorsten Frei (CDU). “If Europe were to get the impression that Germany is willing to act alone in the event of a crisis, then in the future we could forget about a common European solution to the migration issue.” Chairman of the conservative EPP group in the European Parliament, Manfred Weber, said in the ARD program “Anne Will”: “We should not repeat the mistakes of 2015.”
Annalena Baerbock, Green President, called for the immediate removal of the migrants in Lesvos and for more European and German efforts. She did not want to repeat an earlier Twitter statement of hers, which meant that all 12,000 Moria migrants had to come to Germany, even after repeated inquiries. Katrin Göring-Eckardt, leader of the Bundestag, spoke out in the “World” for a national solo effort in an emergency: “In Germany many cities and towns are ready, the capacities are there. Germany must act now and the ones who seek protection, include. “
On the island of Lesvos, 300 of the 12,000 migrants moved to a newly built replacement tent camp over the weekend after the Moria camp was likely destroyed by arson last week. Some migrants tried to dissuade others from going to the new camp. They want to be taken to the mainland so they can move further north: “to Germany”, reporters were told on the spot. Thousands of people live on the streets, including families with children – without shelter, sanitation and running water. Three quarters of the former inhabitants of Moria are Afghans (77 percent), a much smaller proportion come from Syria (8 percent) and Congo (7 percent).
FDP leader Christian Lindner proposed a migration summit of federal, state and local governments to determine the capacity to receive refugees in Germany. In the “Passauer Neue Presse” (Monday), he called on Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) to take up the matter.