Germany Struggling to Absorb Huge Numbers of Refugees

Chancellor Angela Merkel. Photo by: Alexander Kurz

Chancellor Angela Merkel. Photo by: Alexander Kurz

Violence erupted in Heidenau, Germany, as a peaceful demonstration of about 1,000 right-wing protesters was overtaken by radicals. At the end of the riot 31 German police officers were injured after scuffles with about 600 rioters, who were angered by the arrival of about 250 asylum seekers to this town near Dresden.

The attempts to prevent the arrival of the refugees was not successful, but the unrest is just the beginning as Germany expects to accommodate four times the number of refugees this coming year compared to last year, amounting to an astounding 800,000 immigrants to this most liberal of all European countries when it comes to asylum seekers.

German media stated that the violence was caused by members of the National Democratic Party, (NDP), a radical right-wing party inspired by the Nazis. News reports showed people carrying signs saying “Stop the asylum flood!” and screaming “Foreigners out!”

German politicians were quick to condemn the violence. Justice Minister Heiko Maas said: “There is zero tolerance for xenophobia or racism.”

Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the flood of refugees into Europe is the biggest problem now facing the continent.

German’s relatively liberal asylum laws has led the way for the country to accept more refugees into its borders than any other European country. Many are seeking asylum from countries devastated by war, such as Syria and Iraq. Over one third are entering Germany form other European countries, like Serbia and Albania, in southern Europe.

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