‘The CDU is pursuing a migration policy against its own people’ — Berlin to build 16 new migrant container villages

The Berlin Senate is imposing thousands more asylum seekers on a city whose public services are already saturated, and district mayors along with the AfD party are in uproar at the plans

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Thomas Brooke
FILE - Containers in different colours set up as a makeshift refugee home in Berlin, Germany. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Local mayors in Berlin are breaking ranks against a state Senate decision to build 16 new container facilities to house over 6,000 asylum seekers across the German capital, and the Alternative for Germany (AfD) is quick to point out that the ruling government in Berlin is supposedly led by supposedly conservative Christian Democrats (CDU).

“The CDU is pursuing a migration policy against its own people: in CDU-governed Berlin alone, the Senate wants to build a total of 16 new asylum accommodations with more than 6,000 places. No wonder, because CDU Mayor Wegner has approved a stop to deportations. With the CDU, you get a policy of mass migration in all federal states. You get crime, parallel societies, asylum abuse and neglect,” wrote the party in a statement.

Berlin’s state legislature recently approved plans to construct container villages in several locations where local politicians have already sounded the alarm over saturated public services.

Up to 6,130 new arrivals will be housed in the accommodation to be built by 2026, suggesting state lawmakers have no intention of tackling the spiraling asylum applications gripping the nation, but local mayors are at least putting up some resistance to the plans.

“The districts already doing the most will be put under additional strain,” said Lichtenberg Mayor Martin Schaefer, the CDU politician whose district will play host to four of the new container villages.

Speaking to the Berliner Zeitung, Schaefer expressed his concern that infrastructure and public services are not being enhanced at the same speed as the increasing population and, as such, the proposed locations are “not suitable for [asylum] accommodation.”

“Without schools, daycare centers, midwives, doctors, and social, integrative offers, living together cannot be successful. This only encourages radical forces and damages social cohesion,” he told the local newspaper.

Migrant container village instead of school

One of the container villages in Schaefer’s district will reportedly be built on a site previously earmarked for a school, the construction of which will now be canceled. “I can no longer justify this to anyone in my district,” the local mayor said.

Emine Demirbüken-Wegner, another CDU district mayor representing the north-east borough of Reinickendorf, revealed she had found out about state plans to install more asylum accommodations in her constituency from the press, claiming that an “uncoordinated advance at the state level was not even communicated with the districts in advance.”

Reinickendorf already encompasses Berlin Tegel Airport, home to the largest asylum village in the German capital, with emergency accommodation housing over 13,000 migrants.

Demirbüken-Wegner also raised the saturation of public services in the area and lamented the decision to impose a greater burden on local residents.

“The district office is of the opinion that the existing locations cannot be expanded further for reasons of social infrastructure, the lack of daycare places and youth facilities, and the noticeable overload of the intercultural population mix,” she said.

However, concerns have fallen upon deaf ears in the Berlin Senate, with plans approved to increase the Tegel container village by another 1,000 migrants.

The German capital spent almost 3 percent of its budget on migrants last year, totaling €1.1 billion, official figures show, while the government told residents it had no funding for the renovation of schools or the improvement of transport infrastructure.

The party is pointing to the pre-migration policies pursued by CDU mayor Wegner in Berlin as foreshadowing to what will occur if the CDU gains power at the federal level.

“Only with the AfD will the current asylum law finally be implemented, only with us will the CDU asylum chaos be ended. Anyone who does not have the right to asylum is not allowed to come to Germany. And anyone who stays here illegally must have consistently deported them. However, nothing will change with the CDU, which repeatedly feigns criticism of mass migration, only to then do the complete opposite,” wrote the party.

In December, a Freedom of Information request by the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) parliamentary party in the Berlin Senate revealed the state government was spending €1.5 million per day to house migrants in just 12 buildings, consisting of 10 hotels and 2 migrant arrival centers, in the city.

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