• Germany's news in English
 

Gauck: Refugees offer hope for German future

Published: 16 Jan 2013 07:00 GMT+01:00

He spoke as the Interior Ministry released figures showing that the number of applications for asylum had risen by 41 percent during 2012, with more people fleeing Syria and the Balkans than previously.

"We need open doors for the persecuted, and not only due to our constitution and our history but also for economic reasons," said Gauck on Tuesday.

"Immigrants can help us to keep the living standards from today into the next generation - they should be greeted by the people with open hearts or at least be accepted gladly." It was time for a new welcoming culture, he said.

The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees said that last year 6,201 people from Syria applied for asylum in Germany - an increase of 135 percent on the previous year. Syrians fleeing the civil war at home formed the third largest group applying for asylum in Germany after Serbians and Afghans.

More than two thirds of those who escaped Syria were granted protection from extradition.

Last year just over 64,500 people applied for asylum in Germany, just over 14 percent of whom were granted refugee status. A further 13.5 percent were given protection from extradition, while 49.7 percent saw their application rejected.

Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said the increase in Syrian refugees was to be expected considering the civil war in the country. But what he called an enormous rise in applications from the western Balkan states had not been foreseeable as he said there was not generally political persecution there.

The second half of the year saw a particularly strong rise in asylum applications by people from Serbia, Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, yet none could prove asylum-relevant persecution, the Interior Ministry said. The most applications last year came from Serbia, with 8,477 people saying they had no option but to leave.

Human rights organisation Pro Asyl said every case should be examined carefully, and said the rapid assessments which were used to decide on people from Serbia and Macedonia, were, "the opposite of an unbiased examination."

The argument that the fact that none had been granted asylum proved there were no grounds for their applications was a dangerous, circular conclusion, the group said.

DAPD/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

11:45 January 16, 2013 by jg.
"Immigrants can help us to keep the living standards from today into the next generation..."

Really? How does that work? Experience in the UK would suggest the exact opposite, About half of the the immigrants brought in to the UK to solve non-existent shortages of IT workers have ended up in low level jobs, such as cleaning. This has only served to depress wages and remove job opportunities for those that need them most. The influx of refugees has created ghettos in some areas, with citizens moving away if they can.
12:02 January 16, 2013 by Dalmation
I suspect President Joachim Gauck is representing employers wishes for more cheap labour.
12:47 January 16, 2013 by www.emungus.net
HUMAN BEINGS ARE MIGRATORY SPECIES

One may feel or spot a note of hypocrisy somewhere... However, words are so mild that it is cute to hear. Somehow everyone is or has been somewhat a migrant ...Well, mankind is always in motion. Certainly this view of mine is questionable since any attempt to meet everyone¦#39;s understanding is an out-of-reach exercise. Nevertheless, we hardly can question the fact that human beings are migratory species.
13:07 January 16, 2013 by Zubair Khan
@ www.emungus.net.

Well said and no other way but to ensdorse it.
13:07 January 16, 2013 by michael4096
@jg.

"About half of the the immigrants brought in to the UK to solve non-existent shortages of IT workers have ended up in low level jobs, such as cleaning."

Yer! No reason why British IT workers can't do the cleaning! Then we can have a real shortage of IT workers and the immigrants can do what they came for!
16:29 January 16, 2013 by raandy
Mr. Gauck is a minister and reaching out to those in need should and from what I read is his craft.

but

Be careful what you wish for its not always a win win situation. Educated and skilled immigrants from EU areas should be the first priority, they are more likely to assimilate faster. The non EU members from poor and war torn countries will cost the tax payers more but Germany seems eager to step up to the plate and I hope for the best.
18:18 January 23, 2013 by arhracho
So how does adding thousands of people to your welfare system help the country? Did you not learn from your Turkish experience? Let's bring in more potential terrorists! As an American service member who lived in Germany in the early eighties, I could not believe the drastic changes I saw when I visited Germany last year. Changes not for the better I should mention. There was very little crime back then, Germans have given up control of their border, allowing hundreds of thousands of people of all sorts to drag down your support , criminal, and education systems. Like the saying goes: The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results.
Today's headlines
EU investigates Germany over airport security
Photo: DPA

EU investigates Germany over airport security

The European Commission said on Thursday that it had referred Germany to the EU Court of Justice for failing to regularly check up on its airport security measures at some airports. READ  

Germans want to keep their hands on cash
Germans still trust cash over other forms of payment. Photo: DPA

Germans want to keep their hands on cash

Confirming conservative stereotypes, Germans have come out strongly in favour of sticking to hard cash in conducting transactions, a survey published on Thursday showed. READ  

This week in history
Fassbinder: New German Film's Enfant Terrible
Rainer Fassbinder on set in 1977. Photo: DPA

Fassbinder: New German Film's Enfant Terrible

On Sunday May 31st, Rainer Weiner Fassbinder, one of the most influential German film directors, would have turned 70 - had it not been for his death at the age of 37 in 1982. The Local takes a look back at the life and work of the enfant terrible of New German Cinema. READ  

Cool caps reduce hair loss during chemo
Photo: DPA

Cool caps reduce hair loss during chemo

German scientists are trialling a special scalp-cooling cap which helps reduce hair loss for cancer patients going through chemotherapy. READ  

Industry: 'doped' growth boosting economy
A man assembling food processors in a Wuppertal factory. Photo: DPA

Industry: 'doped' growth boosting economy

The German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) warned on Thursday that a fresh burst of economic confidence might be unfounded, even as they raised their growth projections for 2015. READ  

Slow-moving fighter jet blocks Autobahn traffic
A Eurofighter jet stopped up traffic on Thursday because it was so wide. Photo: DPA.

Slow-moving fighter jet blocks Autobahn traffic

A damaged Eurofighter plane being pulled by a truck along the autobahn was so wide that it blocked three lanes of traffic on its way to being repaired in Bavaria on Thursday, drawing the ire of fellow drivers. READ  

Right-wing leader suffers restaurant attack
AfD co-leader Frauke Petry. Photo: DPA

Right-wing leader suffers restaurant attack

Frauke Petry, co-leader of Alternative for Germany (AfD), was attacked by masked assailants while eating in a restaurant on Wednesday evening. READ  

Court rejects case against US drone strikes
An American MQ-9 "Reaper" unmanned drone. Photo: U.S. Air Force/Paul Ridgeway/dpa

Court rejects case against US drone strikes

A German court on Wednesday rejected a complaint by three Yemenis demanding that Berlin bar Washington from using a US base on its territory to operate deadly drones. READ  

Gay marriage: Germany still says 'No'
A gay couple in Stuttgart. Photo: DPA.

Gay marriage: Germany still says 'No'

Germany's cabinet on Wednesday approved a raft of draft measures to extend the rights of same-sex couples, but faced criticism for allowing only civil unions, not full gay marriage. READ  

Spectre of Greece haunts G7 Dresden meeting
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble welcomes his G7 colleagues to Dresden. Photo: DPA

Spectre of Greece haunts G7 Dresden meeting

Finance ministers and central bank governors of the Group of Seven wealthiest nations gathered in Dresden Thursday to discuss the global economy and tax evasion, but the Greek crisis was also high on everyone's minds. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Travel
Why the train strike is bad for passengers and workers
National
Meet Germany's Eurovision hope
Business & Money
Is 2015 a new moment for jobsharing?
Features
How the LGBT rights movement was born in Germany
National
Why you don't make bomb jokes at the airport
National
Why Germany needs a little less tipple
National
Who Germans and Americans trust... and don't
Politics
What the UK election means for Germany
National
Why Germany is great for mums
Features
The Germans with GI dads
Five ways Germany falls short on gay rights
Travel
Giant tortoise found riding Munich rail
National
FCK CPS? A-OK with court
Politics
Opinion: Brexit's dangers for Germany
Features
Smart kids all want to work for BMW
National
Minister shows off top Denglisch
National
Germany's 'other genocide' in Africa
National
Arms firms get a 'must do better' mark on ethics
Sport
Bayern's anticlimactic 25th Bundesliga win
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

6,698
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd