German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been implicated in the ongoing Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) scandal with the former president of the agency claiming to have informed Merkel twice about the ongoing problems.
Former president of BAMF Frank-Jürgen Weise then alleged that after informing the German leader, Ms. Merkel did not act on his concerns, L’Express reports.
“The failure lies in the inaction (of the government) since the challenges that Germany would face with the arrival of refugees were clear,” Weise said and added: “The crisis could have been avoided.”
The scandal, which has rocked the German federal government over the past month, emerged from a BAMF office in Bremen which has been accused of corruption and taking bribes for granting 1,200 asylum claims to migrants who did not qualify between 2013 and 2016.
The Bremen office denied the allegations, insisting that the applications got through because the migrant crisis of 2015 had totally overwhelmed their staff.
80 Per Cent of Germans Distrust Government Migration Agency Decision-Making Following Scandal https://t.co/MQ4TSUpmkw
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 22, 2018
Over the weekend the scandal deepened considerably after it was revealed that 46 of the 1,200 asylum seekers granted asylum were known radical Islamic extremists and that since 2000, the Bremen office had granted asylum status to at least 115 individuals considered to be persons of interest by the German intelligence services.
According to an Interior Ministry spokesman, at least one of the 46 Islamists was considered to be a potential terrorist threat.
Merkel’s coalition allies, the Social Democrats (SPD), have also been highly critical of her potential role in the scandal with Deputy Chairman Ralf Stegner saying: “The loss of control over the most important authority in refugee policy served to the detriment of those affected and local authorities, and to the benefit of right-wing populists. The Chancellor has simply failed.”
The scandal is the latest blow to Merkel following one of her party’s worst election performances in history last year, to which many have attributed her mass migration policies in 2015.
Recent polling has shown a slight rise for the anti-establishment populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) in the wake of the scandal, which currently serves as the official opposition in the German parliament.
Germany, INSA poll:
GRÜNE-G/EFA: 11% (-1)
Field work: 1/06/18 – 4/06/18
Sample size: 2,067
— Europe Elects (@EuropeElects) June 4, 2018
Last week, co-leader of the AfD Alexander Gauland spoke exclusively to Breitbart London from his office in Berlin and blamed a culture of “self-hate” for the BAMF scandal.
“It’s quite clear that some officials in the BAMF have said ‘all people are welcome’ and you have a lot of German politicians who say ‘all refugees have to be absorbed into our society,’” he said.