Migrant girl looking through a window.
  Migrant girl in Hungary reception centre, 8 September 2015. Photo: AP.

Germany’s principled stand against fears and fallacies

Blog post by François Crépeau
9 September, 2015

Germany can cope with at least 500,000 asylum seekers a year for several years, Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel has said.

At long last, a mainstream politician is adopting a public discourse which runs contrary to all the fantasies, stereotypes and prejudices of the nationalist populist discourse.

Yes, Germany has the capacity to take half a million asylum seekers per year. This means that France, the UK, the Netherlands, Denmark, Canada, Australia, and other rich countries can provide shelter to a proportionate number of migrants as well. What was lacking until now was the political will, and one German politician, Vice-Chancellor Gabriel, has finally found the courage to take on the nationalist populist politicians and their fallacies head on.

For this, we need to thank the resolute attitude of Chancellor Merkel, who took early on a principled stand against all the fears of her European colleagues. Let’s hope that she will inspire them in the weeks and months to come. This newly articulated German position is a welcome first step in making a much more realistic assessment of trends and capacities, and in instigating more responsible and coordinated reception policies for those migrants, throughout Europe.

To know more about Germany’s statement, please read the BBC’s article ”Migrant crisis: Germany ‘can take 500,000 asylum seekers a year’”.

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