For refugees, it’s destination Germany – The Washington Post

This emotional Washington Post article describes Syrian asylum-seekers arriving at the Munich train station Sept. 5, where they were greeted by Germans clapping and shouting “welcome”, including  both Roman Catholic Cardinal Reinhard Marx and Lutheran Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm shaking hands with exhausted people.

Source: For refugees, it’s destination Germany – The Washington Post

Germany is setting a powerful example and other countries are increasingly embarrassed in comparison. For example, Hungary’s right-wing government’s behaviour in Budapest has been widely criticized. Indeed ordinary Hungarians are embarassed by the harsh way in which their government enforced ‘the rules’.

It’s fascinating that Germany, who struggled so hard with austerity and economic reforms in the Eurozone, is now leading boldly by example. This point was well argued in this week’s Economist lead.

Sadly, I fear that apart from humanitarian aid, there is an urgent need for robust foreign policy intervention. Otherwise, there is an increasing risk that eventually we could see most of Africa on the move.

Surely, it’s time for European leaders to take a strategic look at immigration and focus beyond the immediate humanitarian disaster? Also there seems to be a need for holistic defense and foreign policy that addresses the causes of the refugee crisis?


5 responses

  1. A note of caution is needed about the excitement Germans feel about this humanitarian work that is so well described in this article brought to us by Dr Alf, via the Washington Post.

    If world leaders and the UN do not up their game in the Middle-East, we risk unleashing a further 8 million refugees who will also want to go to their version of the “Promised Land”(Germany) followed by the dole bludgers paradise and home of fake NI numbers, the UK.

    The Hungarians identified 180 different nationalities in this latest influx, many of whom are economic migrants posing as refugees and not even from Africa at all.

    It is all very well for Chancellor Merkel to allow 800,000 people into Germany no doubt under American encouragement, pressure and instruction but if the welcome from people and these “men of the cloth”, Lutheran or otherwise, is too fulsome, Europe is going to find itself in deep trouble.

    A better solution is to clear Libya of terrorists by combined military force, occupy that country having built a secure wall guarded by troops, drones and robots and then resettle the refugees and economic migrants there.

  2. Being German, it made me very happy seeing how the country’s responding. The UK so far has taking in 216! people and the argument is to keep these ‘immigrants’ out because we don’t really help them by taking them in. Makes me feel ashamed living in the UK and paying taxes for this right-wing government, especially bearing in mind that the US and the UK are big contributors to the wars and conflicts that have brought suffering and destruction to the Middle East for decades.

    • Thanks for sharing your views, which are probably echoed by liberals everywhere. Conservatives on the other hand seem more ready to focus on addressing the cause of the refugee crisis.

      Nevertheless, I think that the compassion shown by Germany is admirable, and the German people have a right to be proud.

      Let’s hope that Angela Merkel will gain confidence with this sort of decisive, visionary leadership. If she can apply the same qualities to other European challenges, then European history will judge her kindly.

  3. Germany is doing a great thing here by accepting the refugees. And speaking of “increasingly embarrassed in comparison”, the United States is only taking 1,800, or “up to 8,000”. For the most powerful country in the world right now, this number is embarrassing. For all the money we spend on our military, why can’t we do anything humanitarian when it truly matters?

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