That didn’t take long. Last month German Chancellor Angela Merkel was throwing out welcome mats for Syrian refugees and promising to take 800,000. Now barely four weeks later German President Joachim Gauck is openly contradicting her unilateral offer and saying “there is a limit to what we can do”.
The German Press Agency DPA reports that Mr Gauck welcomed newly arrived refugees on Sunday evening but questioned the country’s capacity to keep its doors open long-term in a speech that acknowledged the difficulties of receiving hundreds of thousands of migrants.
“Our absorption capacity is limited, even if it has not yet been decided where these limits lie,” he said, speaking at an intercultural ecumenical service in the city of Mainz.
Mr Gauck fulfils a largely largely ceremonial role in German politics as president. Still, he chose his moment carefully – and his audience – to say there’s a “fundamental dilemma” between the desire to help others and the finite ability to do so.
He said it was necessary to analyse more closely what can be done on the migrant issue and to have a wide social debate about how a humane refugee policy can be assured in the future.
Mr Gauck said major challenges included finding housing and providing sufficient places in schools and childcare facilities, particularly as many communities are already suffering under strict budgetary conditions.
The president also warned that among the refugees there could be fundamentalists and religious chancers who would like to continue to wage the conflicts in their home countries in Germany.
“To these I say: We do not want any religious fanaticism in this country. Holy warriors have to know: The rule of law does not tolerate violence.”
Too late for that it seems.
As Breitbart London has reported, even as Mr Gauck spoke there were clashes at a migrants’ camp near the central German city of Kassel that left 14 people injured.
The clashes erupted in the city suburbs at a settlement made up of tents which house around 1,500 migrants hailing from around 20 different countries. The migrant-on-migrant fighting lasted “several hours”, DPA quoted the police as saying.
A fight first broke out at around mid-day during mealtime between two refugees, and later involved two large groups of Albanian and Pakistani migrants. In the evening, a third clash erupted, pitting a group of around 70 migrants against another group of about 300.
Three policemen were among the injured, the German news agency said.
Last week social workers and women’s groups in Geissen complained to the local state parliament that rape and child abuse are rife in their refugee camp. A report in the Daily Mail claimed there had been “numerous rapes and sexual assaults, and forced prostitution.”
“Many women have felt the need to sleep in their clothes… they won’t go to the toilet at night because rapes and assaults have taken place on their way to, or from, there. Even in daylight, a walk through the camp is fraught with fear.”
They add: “It is a fact that women and children are unprotected. This situation is opportune for those men who already regard women as their inferiors and treat unaccompanied women as ‘fair game’.”
At another migrant camp on a former US airbase in Bayernkaserne near Munich, women’s rights groups have complained about forced prostitution and say that rape happens every day. One social worker told local TV the camp was the “biggest brothel in the city”. The price for sex with a female migrant is €10.
All this as Mr Gauck decries the outcomes of limitless, open door immigration instead of attacking the causes.
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