• 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
'Hot Boy from Germany' wins Vietnam Idol
Image: Fremantle Media/YouTube

'Hot Boy from Germany' wins Vietnam Idol

A 22-year-old from Hanover has become the latest winner of Vietnam Idol – bagging $27,000 along with his new title. READ  

Man promises to stop coffin naps in public
If you want to rest in place while you're still alive, a car park isn't the place place to choose. Photo: DPA

Man promises to stop coffin naps in public

When a man walking his dog alerted police to the fact that a black coffin was lying in the middle of a public parking place, the cops were surprised to find someone inside. READ  

Court orders boss to pay worker for changing
Photo: Pixabay

Court orders boss to pay worker for changing

A mechanic from western Germany is set to receive €350 in back payments – after claiming he should be paid for the time he spent showering and getting dressed for work. READ  

In Pictures
Wacken festival draws metalheads of the world
A reveler at Wacken Open Air 2015. Photo: DPA

Wacken festival draws metalheads of the world

Armies of black-clad fans gathered for the world's biggest heavy metal festival between Thursday and Saturday, marking 25 years of headbanging fun in the small town of Wacken in northern Germany. READ  

Railway sunbather brings trains to a halt
Photo: DPA

Railway sunbather brings trains to a halt

A plucky sunbather brought train services in North Rhine-Westphalia to an abrupt halt at the weekend - after deciding to catch some rays on the tracks. READ  

Spiegel: Merkel wants fourth term in power
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA

Spiegel: Merkel wants fourth term in power

According to Germany's most influential political magazine, Spiegel, Angela Merkel has decided to run for a fourth term in power and has already started talks on who will run her campaign. READ  

State leaders call for faster asylum processes
Refugees at a temporary reception centre in Baden Württemberg. Photo: DPA

State leaders call for faster asylum processes

Several state leaders called for more investment in processing asylum applications over the weekend as the backlog continues to put severe strain on current infrastructure. READ  

German sets Florida to Cuba speedboat record
Roger Klueh. Photo: Ernesto Mastrascusa / DPA

German sets Florida to Cuba speedboat record

A German businessman and power boating fanatic on Saturday broke a 57-year-old record for the fastest boat crossing between the United States and Cuba. READ  

Report: German refugee figures 'underestimated'
Migrants on a train on their way to the EU. Photo: Djordje Savic / DPA

Report: German refugee figures 'underestimated'

Germany has hosted more than 300,000 asylum seekers since the start of the year, said the daily Die Welt on Saturday, nearly 50,000 more than first thought, as Berlin prepares for a record influx of refugees in 2015. READ  

Migrant wounded in German police shooting
Photo: DPA

Migrant wounded in German police shooting

A Guinean migrant who caused a brawl in a home for asylum seekers in Germany was shot and seriously wounded by police, local media reported. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Business & Money
Start-up helps new Berliners short cut bureaucracy
National
The 1,000s of Germans massacred after the Second World War
Sport
Germany star scores own goal with PR gaffe
Features
'Women-only' parking: sensible or sexist?
Politics
Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife
National
13-year-old boy detained for trying to join Isis
Culture
Berlin restaurant serves up Greek Crisis Menu
Rhineland
Doctor on trial after woman wakes in morgue
Society
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Outsourcing drives Apreel's Europe growth
Society
Police bust kinky Bavarian couple over painful love-making
Politics
Merkel brings Palestinian girl to tears
Hamburg
Amateur archaeologist finds Nazi gold hoard
National
Could Merkel learn a lesson in love from this doppelganger?
Travel
Why you should stay in Germany for the summer holidays
Sport
German press tell Schweinsteiger 'good riddance'
National
Hamburg gets a bouncing 100kg baby girl
Society
In North Germany, money sometimes DOES grow on trees
National
Hero mechanics stop Bavaria shooting spree
International
Denmark says that border controls are coming
National
Did hackers take control of German missile battery?
Politics
Munich gives gay pride green light
Business & Money
Berlin rent controls hit prices hard
National
Fighting to breastfeed in public without shame
Society
Ice cream for dogs 'gobbled up in one gulp'
Education
Are hotpants a feminist issue?
Rhineland
Lion cub reunited with mother
National
How the heatwave is cracking Germany's Autobahns
International
Why the French are more sympathetic to Greece than the Germans
Sponsored Article
Crans-Montana: International expat hub
Gallery
Police seize pensioner's WW2 heavy weapons haul
National
How to survive the Europe-wide heatwave
Sport
Is Schweini already out of the door at Bayern?
Politics
How German media shaped the Greece crisis
National
Car assembly robot crushes worker at Volkswagen
Rhineland
Weathermen red-faced over heatwave snow warning
Society
An eye for an eye? Mum protects child in playground with pepperspray
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's final day in Germany
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's second day in Germany
National
Queen Elizabeth II's first day in Germany - as it happened
National
Bus passengers tell fake racists where to get off
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

7,129
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd