CDU leader Merz accuses Scholz of negligence in migration policy

HomeNewsCDU leader Merz accuses Scholz of negligence in migration policy

When it comes to taking in refugees in Germany, there is a limit to what can be carried. According to Merz, Olaf Scholz neglects the dialogue with the municipalities, districts and cities.

CDU leader Friedrich Merz during his speech in the Bundestag.Wolfgang Kumm/dpa

Before the local summit of the Union on Migration, CDU leader Friedrich Merz accused Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) of negligence in refugee policy and demanded that irregular immigration be limited. In an interview with the Bild newspaper (Thursday edition), Merz accused the Chancellor of neglecting the dialogue with municipalities, districts and cities. This „indifference“ is „negligent“.

Scholz‘ behavior also shakes the trust of European partners in Germany, Merz said. „Europe finally needs a common approach to asylum policy.“ The CDU leader emphasized that there were also „limits to resilience“ in Germany. They have been reached in many places, if not exceeded in some cities and communities. „We must therefore limit irregular immigration to a manageable level,“ demanded Merz. With 30,000 asylum applications per month, Germany is „currently well above the benchmark“ of the previous federal government of 200,000 per year.

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Specifically, Merz called for more protection of the EU’s external borders and asylum centers at the borders. „We finally have to properly secure Europe’s external borders. Asylum procedures should be carried out as far as possible at the border of the European Union, for example by reception and decision-making centers close to the border,“ Merz told the newspaper.

Bavaria’s Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann (CSU) meanwhile questioned the social benefits for asylum seekers. He told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung: „In a European comparison, Germany pays the highest social benefits to asylum seekers.“ At the same time, new debt is higher because of the energy crisis and the Ukraine war. The minister demanded: “We have to seriously think about whether we can afford this in the long term. That’s an attraction that needs to be talked about.”

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Herrmann also called on the federal government to limit the influx of migrants and accelerate the deportation of rejected asylum seekers. To do this, the federal government must put pressure on the countries of origin – for example, if they receive development aid from Germany – to take back their nationals. Herrmann also asked the federal government for more financial support for the municipalities: „The minimum is that the federal government provides the completely overwhelmed municipalities with more money.“

This Thursday, Union faction leader Merz invites local politicians to a “refugee summit” in Berlin. Around 700 district administrators and mayors are expected. The CDU/CSU opposition wants to discuss the problems of accommodating refugees.