‘We Have Space’: Germans Protest in Berlin Demanding Open Borders for Migrants

Partcipant of a pro-migrants demonstration holds a sign reading 'Keep calm and welcome ref
AXEL SCHMIDT/AFP via Getty Images

Thousands of protesters marched in Germany calling for open borders and for the European Union to allow thousands of migrants to flow into the bloc from Turkey.

Outside German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s official residence in Berlin, approximately 3,000 protesters gathered on Tuesday evening, with matching protests being held in Hamburg and Potsdam, calling for the EU to “open the border in Greece”.

The protesters chanted “we have space!” and called the 2016 agreement between the EU and Turkey to halt the flow of migration as “toxic”, according to DW.

The march in Berlin was organised following Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s decision to “open the gates” to migration into the EU. The protest was led by the activist group Seebrücke Berlin (Sea Bridge Berlin), which says it is “against the policy of sealing off the EU and for the opening of the borders”.

“The solution is clear: open the border in Greece now so that there is no more suffering. Allow people to come to Europe and Germany. There are plenty of communities ready for reception here. Let’s oppose the fascist mobs and come together for a solidarity society!” the group wrote.

In a petition signed by over 2,000 people, Seebrücke said that the government of Germany should work to “ensure that the EU opens the border and allows people to flee unhindered. People must be able to enter the numerous German municipalities and apply for asylum.”

Germany has so far maintained that its borders will not be open to migrants coming from Turkey. Horst Seehofer, the German interior minister, sent a message in Arabic on Tuesday, attempting to dissuade migrants from attempting to enter Germany illegally.

“We will support Greece with all our might. Europe’s borders are not open to refugees from Turkey, and this applies to our German borders as well,” Seehofer wrote.

Friedrich Merz, who is vying to replace Angela Merkel as the head of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), warned that Germany must not lose “control” of its borders as it did during the height of the migration crisis in 2015.

Merz said that Berlin should say to migrants attempting to enter illegally: “There is no point in coming to Germany. We cannot take you in.”

The leader of the Free Democrats (FDP), Christian Lindner, said that the fate of Merkel’s governing coalition depends on whether or not they can keep migration at bay.

“In order to reduce the migration flows, it would be helpful if Ms Merkel clearly and publically stated that uncontrolled entry into Germany no longer exists,” he said.

“We’ve been saying for years that in the event of a crisis, it must also be possible to deny entry at the German border which is something our European partners already do,” Lindner added.

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