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Robert Habeck: "Responsibility for cohesion in this country"


Especially among the Greens, many find it difficult to tighten migration law. But Vice-Chancellor and Economics Minister Robert Habeck has now stressed that his party is ready for pragmatic solutions to reduce immigration at the EU's external borders.

At a conference with mayors and district administrators, he was told of overload and excessive demands, the Green politician told the editorial network Germany. "They say that in many places they no longer know how to solve the problems." There is "a certain drama," he said, and was open to taking action against it. If we don't want right-wing populism to exploit this issue, then all democratic parties have an obligation to help find solutions."

"On the government side, we agreed to a Common European Asylum System, which, among other things, provides for asylum procedures at the EU's external borders, but it was difficult for many Greens," Habeck continued. In order to protect the right to asylum, "we must accept reality and solve concrete problems, even if it means making morally difficult choices. We know that we have a responsibility for cohesion in this country."

CDU General Linnemann calls for bipartisan consensus

In view of the significant increase in the number of refugees, CDU General Secretary Carsten Linnemann has called for a non-partisan "consensus like in 1993" on migration policy. At that time, the basic right to asylum had been restricted on the basis of the so-called asylum compromise between the Union and the FDP with the then opposition SPD. "If we want to master this challenge, then the parties in the German Bundestag must be prepared to seek cross-party solidarity," he told the Süddeutsche Zeitung. He would then also "immediately let public escalations be in the dispute with the traffic light parties". The entire infrastructure is not designed for this high number of people, he warned.

On Friday, the opposition Union had already tried to put pressure on the traffic light coalition in the Bundestag with a motion for a "Germany Pact in Migration Policy". Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) defended the government: "Our measures are working. We control and order migration.« However, there have recently been dramatic warnings of congestion from states and municipalities. By the end of August, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees had registered more than 204,000 initial applications for asylum – an increase of 77 percent compared to the same period last year. In addition, as a result of the Russian war of aggression, more than one million Ukrainians have sought protection in Germany who do not have to apply for asylum.

Merz refers to Danish asylum policy

Meanwhile, CDU party leader Friedrich Merz once again called for a tougher course on deportations: "The Danes are very consistent, there are then only benefits in kind, those affected are only in collective accommodation and are then consistently deported," said the Union parliamentary group chairman at an event of the "Augsburger Allgemeine". The Social Democratic government in Denmark has been able to push back the share of votes of right-wing nationalist parties by changing course in asylum policy. Recently, however, Denmark has relaxed its rules somewhat and grants extensive asylum to women and girls from Afghanistan, for example.

Interior Minister Faeser told the "Welt am Sonntag" when asked whether there would be short-term stationary border controls at the Polish and Czech borders: "From my point of view, this is a way to fight smuggling crime more hard." A ministry spokesman confirmed: "Corresponding additional border police measures are currently being examined." Until recently, Faeser had rejected stationary border controls as "symbolic politics".

Such additional controls would have to work well with the surveillance of the entire border area by the veil search, said Faeser. "To this end, we have already greatly increased the presence of the federal police on the Polish and Czech borders," said the SPD top candidate for the Hessian state elections on October 8. However, she also dampened expectations of the controls: "But one should not suggest that no more asylum seekers will come as soon as there are stationary border controls." If a person asks for asylum at the border, then the asylum application must be examined in Germany. The protection of the EU's external borders therefore remains crucial.