The German Air Force has been included in new plans to deport failed asylum seekers faster by using military transport planes rather than expensive chartered flights.
Defence minister Ursula von der Leyen said the use of military aircraft would be part of a last resort, to be taken when “all civilian transport capacities are exhausted”, and only if it didn’t effect the German army’s “priority missions”, reports TheLocal.de.
At the moment most European nations use chartered flights to deport migrants, but the costs of using such aircraft has become a source of controversy as costs have spiralled. Breitbart London reported last week that the United Kingdom had paid £13.5 million for chartered flights in the past 18 months alone, sending just 2,892 failed asylum seekers alone on chartered aircraft at a cost of £5,000 per person.
The use of Germany’s Transall turboprop transport planes or Airbus troop carriers may prove more controversial yet, as some have questioned whether it is right and proper that the army should be involved in deporting foreigners at all. Migrant rights campaigner Bernd Mesovic of the ProAsyl group said of the decision: “deportations are clearly not in the remit of the army.
“This suggestion would hardly be constitutional. The army can be used in cases of natural catastrophes such as flooding. But this isn’t a natural catastrophe or an especially serious accident – which according to Article 35 of the constitution would allow for military operations within the country.“
“Expelling asylum seekers using military vehicles would furthermore have a disastrous symbolic effect. It would signal: the German government is acting militarily against refugees”.
Despite his reservations, it may be the case that Mr. Mesovic may have no reason to complain about the military airlift of would-be refugees home as the German military may struggle to find planes to fly the mission with. Crippled by years of under-investment and a lack of spare parts, many of Germany’s military aircraft are grounded with unsafe, with many planes canibalised for spare parts for those still officially in-flight.
In 2014, a German warship deployed to the Horn of Africa arrived on station without it’s Lynx helicopter, perhaps the most important piece of equipment on board a ship engaged in anti-piracy operations. While the Westland Lynx is a reliable and potent helicopter in British service, Germany has been unable to keep them in the air – and so the ship was forced to leave it behind. The Guardian reported at the time that just seven of 43 helicopters in service with the Germany navy were actually airworthy.
When Germany decided to lend material and training assistance to Kurdish Peshmerga forces fighting the Islamic State, the nation was again embarrassed as it discovered even the aircraft it believed were serviceable were unable to fly. A transport of military instructors and equipment on their way to Iraq to teach the Kurds modern warfare techniques found itself stranded in Bulgaria after it developed a fault, while another loaded with €70 million worth of rifles, grenades, rockets, and ammunition was unable to take off at all.
Present German plans to speed up the rate of deportation for failed asylum seekers to relieve pressure on the welfare state alone may not be enough, even with the assistance of the Luftwaffe. The German government was forced to re-assess its own migration statistics this month, after desire to answer Chancellor Merkel’s open invitation to the country provided too much to resist for many across Africa and the Middle East.
Breitbart London reported two weeks ago that the official migrant estimate had been revised up again, having already increased from 300,000 to 450,000 to 800,000. It now stands at 1,500,000.
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