Afghan Prez Tells Germany Not to Become a ‘Fortress’, Low Birth-Rate Europe Needs Migrants

(L) Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani gestures before speaking at Columbia University in New York on March 26, 2015. Ghani, on his first trip to the United States since he was elected president, spoke at Columbias World Leaders Forum on 'The New Beginning in Afghanistan.' AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY …

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has told Germany that it should not become a “fortress” to his nation’s migrants, reminding the country that Europe is in demographic decline and needs foreign labour.

The president of formerly war-torn Afghanistan told Bild that he is “delighted” that so many Afghans had fled his country “straight from camps” to Germany to become “leading doctors, engineers, computer experts, and others”.

Dodging the question from the German tabloid’s reporter whether it was safe for his citizens to return home, President Ghani said that “Safety in Afghanistan is a very difficult notion to define,” and implied that each migrant decides “psychologically, morally” if it is safe for them to return.

In 2017, Germany logged 16,423 asylum applications from Afghan nationals — the third highest after Syria and Iraq — while granting refugee status, subsidiary protection, and humanitarian protection to a total of 51,169 who can stay in the country. Some 56,722 applications were rejected.

However, Germany does not have a strong record for successful deportations of failed asylum seekers after it was revealed that the country had failed to deport some 21,000 migrants last year.

The Bild reporter raised the issue of Germans’ increasing scepticism about the ability of third world migrants to integrate, with President Ghani asserting in response: “Germany cannot become a fortress.”

Evoking a post-Nazi Germany, the Afghan said that the country had “fundamentally transformed itself” and told Germans to judge Afghan migrants by their “successes” — not the standard set by the many who have been convicted of acts of murder, rape, or terrorism.

“Germany stands for me as a beacon of hope, and as a beacon of social integration and economic growth, and also compassion – human compassion,” Ghani told the tabloid, adding that he thinks “the third generation of Afghans is really likely to come back and transform this country”.

Asked whether he thought German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to unilaterally open the continent’s floodgates to a pledged unlimited number of migrants in 2015 had spurred on the migrant crisis, the Afghan leader said that he believed Merkel was taking her “classic approach” and made a “rational decision” given Europe’s declining population and declared that “Society’s capacity for absorption is much greater than fear-mongers believe.“

“You see, the issue that Europe does not confront is the system of demography. You don’t have the birth-rate to underwrite your social policies. You need labour. You need the injection of a younger generation,” he said.

The Afghan leader’s optimism over the contributions his people can make in Europe comes against a backdrop of protest in the German city of Chemnitz where locals have been protesting the murder of Germans by illegals, migrants, and asylum seekers. They took place in the same week that a migrant, reportedly an Afghan, was convicted of murdering his German 15-year-old ex-girlfriend out of jealously and revenge because she had broken up with him.

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