Landshut district administrator Peter Dreier loaded the group of refugees onto a bus on Thursday and packed them off to Berlin, fulfilling a promise he had made to the Chancellery last autumn.
The men from Syria are all recognized as having legitimate claims to asylum in Germany, but are currently put up in temporary accommodation usually reserved for those whose applications are still being processed.
Dreier said that the bus journey was an “act of desperation” to show that there were no private apartments left in his district where the men could be put up – and that the federal government had not delivered the promised help.
Landshut district administrator Peter Dreier in the bus with refugees on Thursday outside the Federal Chancellery. Photo: DPA
“In conversations with the Chancellery I was assured that accommodation fit for human beings would be organized here. This was not the case,” Dreier told Die Welt on Thursday.
He also noted that he was paying personally for the refugees' ovenight hostel accommodation while they were in Berlin.
But as the busload of Syrians were welcomed in the government quarter by a representative of the city's Health and Social Affairs office, harsh criticism was being levelled at Dreier from leaders in the capital.
Syrian refugees gaze out of the window of a bus as they arrive at the Federal Chancellery in Berlin. Photo: DPA
Berlin mayor Michael Müller accused Dreier of lacking solidarity, telling the DPA press agency that he was ducking his responsibility.
“I expect the federal government to have words with the Bavarian state government” about Dreier, Müller said.