Germany should accept half of all the migrants that enter the European Union, a left wing mayor has said.
Boris Palmer, mayor of the city of Tübingen and member of the German Green Party, said that if other EU member states refuse to take their mandatory quotas of migrants, Germany should step up and take the surplus.
In an interview with Die Welt, Mr Palmer said for each migrant any EU state accepts, Germany should accept another. “Thus we would bear 50 per cent of the task,” he claimed.
He denied, however, that he was doing this for cynical political gain. When asked whether he saw all the newly-arrived migrants as potential future Green voters, he responded: “I have not had any thoughts about that. What concerns me is another question: can we integrate refugees into the labour market?”
His comments will likely anger many Germans who are becoming increasingly frustrated at the huge level of immigration into the country.
A recent survey found that 81 per cent of Germans think Chancellor Angela Merkel has “mishandled” the crisis by effectively telling potential migrants that all would be welcomed. Figures vary, but all sources agree that well over a million people came to Germany in 2015, causing social tensions and resentment.
A senior manager in the country’s Federal Employment Agency has also warned that the German economy can only absorb up to 350,000 new arrivals per year, with the rest likely to have to live on state benefits at the tax payer’s expense.
Detlef Scheele said that Germany should not have too high expectations” of migrants finding work and that “if things go well, maybe ten percent in the first year after entry will have a job, after five years, half, after 15 years 70 percent”.