“I say it again and again; we can manage and we will manage.” A proactive and optimistic statement by German chancellor Angela Merkel regarding the massive flow of refugees streaming into Germany. Since the beginning of 2015 more than 240.000 people have arrived on the coasts of Europe most of whom are dreaming of seeking asylum in Germany – and the numbers are exponentially growing. Surely with respect to our history, borders have been widely open, welcoming the lucky refugees who managed to survive a long journey from border to border, but the masses that have arrived since then were as unexpected as overwhelming. Infinitely long lines are stretching in front of regional departments and asylum applications are piling on top of the officers desks. Applications will keep coming since Germany is the most coveted country in Europe by refugees – expecting to find their place in a prosperous economy. With the highest acceptance rate out of all (35% of all asylum seekers) it does seem like a promising destination. Recently however, the UN warned, it could potentially be dangerous for a single country to tackle such a large amount of population increment.
Opinions among the general public are radically split. Heart-warming pictures are reaching us from down south where bavarians are welcoming the newcomers with cakes, clothes and posters. Meanwhile, right radical protests are going on elsewhere, violence and incendiary attacks against refugees are not seldom. Five hundred attacks were counted only this year especially in Sachsen, where the right wing parties have most support.
Fortunately the attacks evoke huge indignation in the media and the general population. A recent poll in in the weekly Newspaper “DIE ZEIT” confirmed that most germans are not troubled by the growing number of refugees. Scepticism whether Germany will be able to master the challenge surely is appropriate but as Merkel said:” we can manage and we will manage.”
by Pauline F.