Taxes will not be raised, says Chancellor
Chancellor Angela Merkel has rejected suggestions that taxes could be raised to cope with the refugee crisis in Germany. In an interview published in the German newspaper "Bild" on 12 October she said, referring to her approach to refugee policy, "The concerns are there because large numbers of people are coming every day." Nevertheless, she continued, a lot can be done to restore order.
Relieving the burden on local authorities
"I talk regularly with mayors and district councils. I see the huge challenges facing them. I know that a great many full-time workers and volunteers are doing their very best. I would like to tell them how we are providing financial assistance to ease their burden. I would like to tell them what legislative amendments we have introduced into parliament to allow us to process requests for asylum more swiftly and to enable us to return the people who are not entitled to stay here to their home countries," said the Chancellor.
Nevertheless, Germany cannot resolve the problem with national regulations alone. That will only be possible with the solidarity of Europe. And beyond Europe’s borders too, negotiations must be conducted and global efforts made to tackle the factors that force people to leave their homes in the first place.
In an interview with the Sunday newspaper "Bild am Sonntag" on 11 October, Peter Altmaier, Head of the Federal Chancellery, also spoke about the action being taken to tackle the refugee crisis. "We will not abandon desperate people who come to us seeking assistance," he declared. "The thousands of helpers across Germany have the support of the government. We are shortening and speeding up procedures, and cutting through red tape."
Accommodation to be winter-proofed
"We must winter-proof accommodation. Then refugees must be helped to find work and learn German," said Peter Altmaier, listing the most urgent challenges. "Transit zones at the borders, where refugees can be kept for up to a week, could be one effective element, but on their own they will not solve the problem," said Peter Altmaier.
In another interview published on 12 October, Federal Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière advocated the swift return of asylum-seekers with no prospects of being granted asylum with special transit zones being established at the borders. "What I am suggesting is swift procedures for asylum-seekers whose applications are quite plainly unjustified," said the minister.
The transit zones at Germany’s external borders are "not a panacea that can solve all problems", but they could "help restore order in the refugee situation," said federal government spokesperson Steffen Seibert on Monday 12 October. The grand coalition is to discuss the introduction of transit zones "as rapidly as possible" said Steffen Seibert.