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Refugees flooded Germany: tightening migration laws - chance to overcome the crisis

28.10.2015 01:39

The main stream of refugees is moving from the south across the border with Austria, through the so-called Balkan route, and therefore the greatest burden falls on the shoulders of Bavaria. In the current critical situation in the region for the state government makes tough statements and appeals to the Chancellor to introduce restrictions on the admission of refugees.

"Suddeutsche Zeitung", citing its own sources in the European Commission hastened to announce that Berlin and the European Commission discuss the possibility of introducing "refugee solidarity tax." As noted in the publication, this tax would be levied by raising value added tax and taxes on production and import of oil and oil products, and then transferred directly to the budget of the European Union. The collected funds are supposed to be used to contain the influx of illegal migrants into Europe, by improving the living conditions in countries of origin of refugees and strengthening the protection of external borders of the European Union.

According to the results of a sociological survey conducted by the Institute for Public Opinion Research "Emnid" ordered by "Bild am Sonntag", almost half of Germans (48 percent) do not approve the policy of Chancellor Angela Merkel on refugees. At the same time 38 percent of the respondents support Chancellor's immigration policy.

As evidenced by the results of the study, a vast majority of Germans believe that Germany will not be able to protect themselves from the influx of refugees. This view was expressed by 76 percent of the poll participants. Meanwhile 50 percent of respondents believe that Germany can cope with the migration crisis.

In the face of growing discontent of the population with migration policy of the ruling coalition, Angela Merkel again came to the defense of its policy toward immigrants. "We should warmly welcome the refugees, like all other people, and this, in my opinion, is the fundamental principle of humanity in our country," - she said in an interview with "Bild" newspaper. According to the German Chancellor, due to the good economic situation in Germany, the government does not intend to impose a tax of solidarity with refugees, nor raise existing taxes.

Despite criticism from the supporters of the Christian parties bloc, she is "deeply convinced" of her course, Merkel said. Falling popularity among voters are not "measuring" the correctness of her actions, she said.

At the same time Merkel indicated that the crisis associated with the influx of refugees can only be resolved in cooperation with European partners. "The whole of Europe must exert efforts to strengthen external borders and at the same time a fair distribution of the refugees between its members," - she said. In addition, the problem needs to be addressed on a global level, fighting the causes of people fleeing from the crisis regions, further stressed the head of the German government, while pointing to the war in Syria.

But in spite of that Germany continues to welcome refugees, record, distribute on federal lands, provide accommodation, catering, provide medical assistance. However, given the rapid increase in the number of asylum-seekers, the German administrative structures and tens of thousands of volunteers are on the brink of their capacity. There is a lack of hostels and staff.

The figures speak for themselves. In September, it was an absolute record - there were more than 43 thousand asylum seekers registered in Germany. The total number of refugees who arrived in the country in September, is several times more - 164 thousand. The bulk has no time to submit an application.

Still, the problem of reception of refugees would be much less acute if the shelter was asked only by those who were really subjected to political repression at home and had their life threatened. But in the general flow arriving in Germany, are people from safe countries.

According to statistics, in September, the first place among the number of asylum seekers in Germany were Syrians, but in the second - the Albanians, on the fifth and sixth - Serbs and Macedonians, on the ninth - the Kosovars. At the same time immigrants from the Balkan countries have almost no chances to remain in Germany as their countries are recognized by the European Commission as safe.

Bavarian Prime Minister Horst Seehofer, where the authorities have to take the lion's share and redistribute refugees arriving in Germany via the Balkan route through Austria, proposed to establish a transit zone at the border. The idea was supported by the conservative German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere.

In such areas, they point out, it would be possible to clearly identify economic refugees from safe countries that do not have grounds for asylum, screen out persons with false documents promptly - within a couple of days - to make a decision on their applications and then send home. It is suggested to use approximately the same practice that is used in German airports.

At the airport in Frankfurt, such extraterritorial zone exists and works. It hosts asylum seekers without documents or with false passports that arrived from a safe country. Within two days, the staff of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) decides on their applications. Such efficiency is permissible only if the person has not yet legally crossed the border of Germany. If the decision is negative, the applicant is threatened with expulsion from the country. Such fate last year befell 56 of the 643 passengers at Frankfurt airport who wanted to seek asylum in Germany.

Those who were refused entry have the right to appeal to BAMF, filed within three days with the help of a lawyer appealed to an administrative court. If the expectation of judgment lasts more than two weeks, the border guards are obliged to admit such a person into the territory of Germany, and his statement begins to be seen in a conventional order.

But the border of Germany and Austria, as, indeed, and all the other neighboring countries is not an airport. We are talking about tens of thousands refugees per month. Thus such a transit zone on the border, estimated by experts, should accommodate about 50 thousand people at a time. In addition, border control, introduced in mid-September is now extended until November.

Note that Germany has no border at all in the conventional sense - a plowed strip with sensors, shepherd dogs and spotlights. And no one even thinks about - as did Hungary - to enclose external borders with impregnable fence with barbed wire. Consequently, the refugees who found out about the prospect of ending up on the border with Germany in a transit area, will not cross it on train or highway, but a little to the side, on uncontrolled area.

According to the Minister of Justice of Germany Heiko Maas, their proposal "is unrealizable in practice." He opposes such, in his words, "mass pens on no man's land." Minister of Interior of North Rhine-Westphalia Ralf Jaeger said that "people who try to save their life, will not be stopped by any transit zones, nor fences or borders."

German human rights activists, in turn, don't not exclude the voluntarism in decision-making point to the difficulty of ensuring the legal protection of refugees in such areas, which require the services of specialized lawyers.

Angela Merkel, frequently many criticized by her own Conservative Party for excessive hospitality towards refugees, was rather skeptical. She stated that the practice of transit zones, "is impossible to reach due to tens of thousands of refugees." This, she said, "is not a panacea." But in some cases, according to the Chancellor, this practice is acceptable, especially when it comes to a person, who  "lost" his passport to hide his origin.

Coordinator for Refugees, Head of the Federal Chancellery (WCF) Germany Peter Altmaier (CDU) called for increasing the number of immigrants deported from the country. "Let's aim to quickly send home at least 50 percent of those who rightly has no right to asylum", - said the head of VPA on Sunday, September 18, in a speech before the "Youth Union of the CDU" in Hamburg. In addition, refugees must make clear that they are a long time will not be able to move his family, Altmaier said.

At the same time the politician opposed the establishment of the upper limit of the number of refugees accepted. "It would be an admission that we can not cope with the problem. One can not completely dissociate itself for the long term," - said Altmaier. Head WCF believes that refugees should be better integrated, in particular by providing them with German courses. At the same time, he categorically rejected the possibility of raising taxes in relation to the costs of migrants.

But still, what will turn for the German economy a massive influx of refugees? This dispute is not only ordinary Germans, but also the country's leading economists. The main topics addressed in the discussions of the demographic situation and development prospects of the labor market in Germany. According the chief economist of Deutsche Bank (Deutsche Bank) David Folkerts-Landau, without a significant influx of migrants will miss the German economy in the next ten years, 4.5 million workers. This will lead to a decrease in the average growth rate of GDP from the current 1.5 percent to 0.5 percent per year and in 2030 are likely to stagnate, experts warn of the German bank.

In an article entitled "Let them come!" Published in the weekly "Die Zeit", Folkerts-Landau stressed that only thanks to massive immigration from Germany in the long term be able to maintain their standard of living and a place among the three or four developed countries world.

Therefore the costs of the integration of migrants, believes chief economist at Germany's biggest bank, is "smart investment in the future." Germany, concludes David Folkerts-Landau, introduced today a chance to "consolidate the glory of the global economic locomotive and in the long term once again become the scientific and cultural center, as she once was."

For his part, Professor Axel Plyunneke, a leading expert on immigration, education and innovation, the Institute of the German Economy in Cologne (IW), makes it clear: "The reception of refugees is primarily a humanitarian task." To contribute to the solution of the problem of shortage of personnel came from Syria, Afghanistan and Eritrea can not yet - first, they need to learn German and in many cases improve their training, warned scientist at the presentation in Berlin next report on the state of the market of skilled labor.

And the situation in this market intensifies: currently 164 German companies are required thousand. Workers with scientific and technical professions. This is the highest level in three years. "The shortage would have been significantly higher today if Germany had not benefited in recent years, the fruits of immigration", - said Professor Plyunneke. According to him, the greatest number of specialists came from Poland, Russia, India and Spain.

Do not argue with the fact that Germany needs migrants today, the University of Freiburg, Professor Bernd Raffelhyushen. "But it is the only country in the world to immigrate who are not eligible," - complains a scientist. He supported the adoption of the Immigration Act, which, according to him, in fact it would be the law on limitation: the country would be allowed only to those "who need".

Already, the expert said in an interview with German news agency DPA, in Germany, hundreds of thousands of the unemployed have no specialty. "Now they have added up to 1.5 million people, of whom about 70 percent - also without qualification," - emphasizes Bernd Raffelhyushen and warns that their content will require "large-scale tax increases."

It requires clarification. According to the German Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), among foreigners, asked for political asylum in Germany in the first half of 2015, 29 percent - children and adolescents under the age of 18 years, and 51 percent - people aged 18 to 34 years. So the chances that these young people to learn German and be able to get an education, are quite high.

For a law regulating and limiting the influx of immigrants, advocates and president of the Munich ifo Institute for Economic Research Professor Hans-Werner Sinn. As for the current refugees, they, according to scientists, are ready to work and pay taxes, but at first due to lack of knowledge of the German language and the lack of qualification will be able to perform only simple work. Therefore, in this segment will fall wages, why suffer mostly other foreigners who came to Germany before. Thus, the "new migrants worsen the situation for older workers".

However, the whole of Germany from 1 January 2015 has been operating the minimum wage of 8.5 euros per hour: it made belonging to the ruling coalition of the CDU / CSU and SPD Social Democrats. Professor Zinn, being a long-time opponent of the law on the minimum wage, is confident that the influx of refugees made his adjustments are inevitable. The scientist believes that there are three ways to solve the problem "is not subject to the law on refugees. To pay subsidies to enterprises. Reduce the minimum wage across the country."

Chapter ifo Institute advocates the third option, but believes it is acceptable and second. The main thing is that refugees were employed and thus started to integrate into German society. Expenditure in any case will fall on the shoulders of taxpayers. "The only question is whether we will pay subsidies to keep running or fully unemployed," - said Hans-Werner Sinn in an interview with the weekly "Die Zeit".

For its part, an expert on European Law of the University of the Ludwig-Maximilian Munich Walter Michl (Walther Michl) comments on the current situation is as follows: at the present time between European capitals must be to establish an active dialogue on reforming the "Dublin agreements," according to which refugees should apply for asylum in the first EU country in which they were after crossing the external border of the European Union. Certainly, it is necessary to strive to regain control of the external borders and record arrivals there. Thus it is impossible to have the country's external borders alone cope with the influx of refugees: it is necessary to create an equitable distribution system and, above all, common standards for asylum, which would operate throughout the EU. Is it realistic - time will tell. At the moment, experts are more pessimistic.

At the same time in Germany bitter rivals reception of refugees are the supporters of the anti-Islamic movement "pegida" (Pegida), requiring ongoing refusal of Chancellor policy towards pereseletsev under the slogan "Merkel has to go!"

Ideologist and founder of "pegida" Lutz Bachmann on behalf of the supporters of the movement calls for an immediate cessation of refugee reception, which Bachmann calls the "rabble" and calls on 'Send! Send the! "And reduce the attractiveness of Germany for applying for asylum. The government of Germany Lutz Bachmann calls the Governors of the American president, "Berlin dictators" who "take decisions against their own people." Supporters of Bachman keep up with him, he does not mince words: Merkel has called "the most dangerous woman in Europe" and protest against the "patient's chancellor and her insane government." People are also seeking asylum in Germany and protection - "herd", "invasion", "lazy rabble," "Arab gangs" and "gangs of blacks."

Yet recognizing that the unregulated flow of immigrants, despite the apparent tolerance of the German society towards refugees, represents a threat to national interests and security, the German authorities urgently took steps to tighten immigration laws.

Package of emergency measures to normalize and stabilize the situation, the settlement of the endless stream of migrants involves the replacement of cash benefits for refugees with social assistance, reducing the size of cash payments, expansion of the list of safe accommodation countries, which includes Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro, peremptory expulsion of refugees who's residence permit expired. In addition, the draft provides for the payment of monetary compensation to federal lands that accept refugees, in the amount of 670 euros for each placement.

If the amendments are approved by the Bundesrat (House of Representatives of the federal states), then in November 2015, they can enter into force.