25. March 2020 Germany suspends all resettlement procedures

Last week, the Federal Ministry of the Interior announced that Germany would suspend all resettlement procedures for people in humanitarian emergency situations “until further notice”. Only those who have either already been tested negative for the virus or can prove that they have been in quarantine for 14 days will be allowed to apply for asylum.
The practical usefulness of such a measure is more than doubtful. However, the way in which it was announced shows that the government had also sought to achieve the greatest possible symbolic effect in taking this step. The manageable size of these humanitarian programmes alone would not have justified such a media-effective announcement. Rather, the “concerned citizens” should hear loud and clear: “The welfare of the German citizens comes before everything else!” The new motto is “Germany first” and so a humanitarian programme for 5000 vulnerable people per year is being crushed, while more than 100,000 German tourists are being brought back with all the resources at their disposal with a spectacular “airlift”.
Our solidarity must not end at the national borders! On the contrary: solidarity with people fleeing and in catastrophic camps must now become a matter of course. The EU and Germany are investing billions in emergency programmes to stabilise the economy and rescue banks, but are devoting only a fraction of their resources to helping people in need of protection.
No one must be abandoned now. Neither homeless nor elderly people living alone, nor people without valid papers – nor the people in the camps along Europe’s external borders.

Fotos: picture-allianz/dpa/K. Nietfeld/Armin Weigel