• Germany edition
 
Gauck: Refugees offer hope for German future
Photo: DPA

Gauck: Refugees offer hope for German future

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

President Joachim Gauck has called on Germans to see refugees and immigrants as a chance for the country's future, saying they should be welcomed with open arms as they could help maintain living standards for coming generations.

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)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

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
Croatia extradites ex-top spy to Germany

Croatia extradites ex-top spy to Germany

Croatia extradited a former Yugoslav spy chief, Zdravko Mustac, to Germany on Thursday to face charges for the 1983 murder of a dissident on German soil. READ () »

German court jails Somali pirate for 12 years
An officer of the Lower Saxon Criminal Investigation Department (CID) securing evidence on the hijacked ship Marida Marguerite. Photo: DPA

German court jails Somali pirate for 12 years

A German court has sentenced a Somali pirate chief to 12 years in jail for hijacking a ship off the Horn of Africa and tormenting its crew during an eight-month ordeal. READ () »

New app helps clients find prostitutes
Photo: DPA

New app helps clients find prostitutes

While the German government is considering tightening prostitution laws, Berlin entrepreneurs have developed a smartphone app to connect sex-workers with clients. READ () »

Highs of 22C forecast for Easter weekend
Photo: DPA

Highs of 22C forecast for Easter weekend

The days running up to Easter may be cool and wet, but the holiday weekend should be a bit warmer for most of Germany, according to forecasters. READ () »

Berlin man must call himself a mother
The fight over the transgender man's right to be his child's official father has been raging since last year. Photo: DPA

Berlin man must call himself a mother

A transgender person who became the first man in Germany to give birth in March 2013 must be registered as the child's mother, a court has ruled after his year-long court battle to be named a father. READ () »

Study: rape convictions fall sharply
Photo: DPA

Study: rape convictions fall sharply

The chance of being convicted of rape in Germany has more than halved in the past two decades to fewer than one in ten, a major study revealed on Thursday. READ () »

SPD: Restore 45-percent investment tax
The tax privilege for investment income is unfair, says the SPD. Photo: DPA

SPD: Restore 45-percent investment tax

The centre-left half of Germany's coalition government has called for the old top rate of a 45-percent tax on investments to be brought back - to match standard income tax and fight the squeeze on middle incomes. READ () »

Customs find smuggled cash in every third car
Sniffing out the money. Photo: DPA

Customs find smuggled cash in every third car

The number of Germans smuggling large amounts of cash across the Swiss border into Germany rose dramatically last year. Customs officers said on Thursday they made a find in almost every third car they checked. READ () »

Crystal meth use hits record level
Crystal meth seized in Bavaria. Photo: DPA

Crystal meth use hits record level

Consumption of crystal meth in Germany appears to have reached a record level, according to government figures published on Thursday. READ () »

Child's near death sparks row over refugee homes
Leonardo had to have a finger and toe amputated after staff refused to call an ambulance. Photo: DPA

Child's near death sparks row over refugee homes

A political row has broken out in Bavaria after an asylum seekers' home failed to help a toddler who almost died of meningitis. The case has raised concerns about the treatment of refugees in the state. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Rhineland
Elderly man taped €200,000 to his genitals
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
What's the unemployment rate in your area of Germany?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
'The mafia has infiltrated every sector in Germany'
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
School kids hospitalized after 'porno' party
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The week in pictures: April 5th - April 11th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Advertisement:
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Munich's baby polar bears are finally named
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo:ESL
Sponsored Article
How to integrate successfully in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

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

3,146
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd