The Breaking Point? Germany’s Asylum System Struggles to Cope

Published on Spiegel Online International, by Melanie Amann, Matthias Bartsch, Jürgen Dahlkamp, Markus Dettmer, Jan Friedmann, Christine Haas, Veronika Hackenbroch, Horand Knaup, Peter Müller, Conny Neumann, Maximilian Popp, Cornelia Schmergal, Barbara Schmid, Fidelius Schmid, Andreas Ulrich and Wolf Wiedmann-Schmidt, Sept 11, 2015 (Photo Gallery).

As the migrant influx continues, the ‘Refugees Welcome’ high is beginning to wear off. People are beginning to wonder if Germany will really be able to cope with all the newcomers. And the system is already completely overwhelmed.  

The images were almost surreal. There were people who had just completed a brutally difficult journey, exhausted, but happy. And there was the crowd, lined up on both sides, cheering and clapping as though they themselves had made the trip … //

… It is as though the Germans are standing up and saying: “We are not who you have long thought we were.” We are not closed hegemons. We are open-hearted. It was half-truth and half-staged, but it was appealing enough that one could bask in the feeling without pangs of guilt. Even Chancellor Angela Merkel, the perennial skeptic, was moved.

But what will happen if the influx of refugees doesn’t abate? What will be left when the initial euphoria wears off and everyday life returns? How will Germans react when the celebratory images of this week are replaced with the reality of housing tens of thousands of newcomers? … //

… Uncoordinated Influx: … //
… Grotesque: … //
… A Free Bed: … //
… A Quarter Million Unresolved Cases: … //
… The Situation Is Too Serious: … //
… A New Cold War: … //
… A Chance of Integration: … //
… Can You Really Call that Child Welfare?: … //
… Putting German Schools to the Test: … //
… We’ll Have to Wing It: … //
… Initial Costs Are Enormous: … //

… Early Intervention:

The hope of many at the job centers, but also their greatest burden, is that public opinion in Germany won’t shift. There is no single argument that can quiet skeptics as quickly as the one that Germany urgently needs workers. Many expect the job centers to quickly help refugees find work so that they won’t have to rely on state welfare payments in the first place.

Still, the Federal Labor Office is no different from the rest of the government’s agencies in the sense that its staffers know very little about the refugees who have arrived. They know their ages, their gender and their nationality — assuming the information provided is correct. But they know little else. That’s why the agency has sent people into the refugee accommodations in order to learn more — like the languages spoken by the refugees, what kind work they would like to have and the skills they might bring to those jobs. The pilot program, called “Early Intervention,” has been tested in nine cities since 2014 and will become the national standard in January 2016.

The aim of the project is to help prevent disappointing both refugees’ and German expectations. But the early results have been sobering. In an analysis for the Federal Interior Ministry, the Federal Labor Office wrote that, of the 850 refugees who participated in the project, only 65 found work immediately.

The most common problem is insufficient knowledge of German. When asked what they would do to remedy the situation, Labor Office staff said they would like to see German language courses offered to all from the moment their asylum procedures start and not only at the point when refugees are given residence permits.

So what will happen to Germany and its refugees? Will the majority opinion hold, or will it begin to shift? The country still has 2.8 million unemployed. What happens if these people start to believe that they are being passed over for jobs in favor of refugees? And what happens if, when they get asylum protection, the refugees start competing with locals for apartments in the low-price market in major cities, for which the demand is already highest?
On Monday, many conservative parliamentarians returned to Berlin after visits to their electoral districts. “Normally, all we hear is praise for the chancellor,” says one CDU politician. “This time, there was quite a bit of skepticism mixed in.”

It was the fear of having begun something that can no longer be stopped — and the unpleasant feeling of not knowing where things are heading. One thing is clear though: Regardless how the refugee crisis proceeds, it will definitely continue.

(full long text).

(My comment: what about the United States, will they now accept a million of refugees they had made with their wars in the Middle East?).

Some Related Links:

Special Pages:

The Refugee Crisis is a Crisis of Imperialism, on Dissident Voice, by T.J. Petrowski, Sept 12, 2015;

Phoenix Runde vom 10.09.2015: Exodus aus Syrien, 44.49 min, von phoenix am 11.09.2015 hochgeladen … Versagt der Westen?

Der Irrsinn der Woche – NDR, 29.27 min, von extra 3 am 9. Sept 2015 hochgeladen;

A Continent Adrift: Juncker Proposes Fixes to EU’s Broken Asylum Policies, on Spiegel Online International, by Sven Becker, Ann-Kathrin Müller, Peter Müller, Maximilian Popp, Jan Puhl, Christoph Schult, Sept 9, 2015: Europe’s asylum policies are broken: That much has become clear in recent weeks amid the huge numbers of refugees entering the EU from the Western Balkans. Can policymakers bring the situation under control?

Gregor Gysi zum Etat des Bundeskanzleramtes, 29.26 min, von phoenix am 09.09.2015 hochgeladen;

Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland face EU threat on asylum, on EU Observer, by NIKOLAJ NIELSEN, Sept 9, 2015;

Refugees arrive in Germany to cheers, on Borneo Post, Sept 7, 2015;

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