Now, with gangs of men roaming the streets and young German women being told to cover up, the mood’s changing.
Sue Reid In Giessen, Germany: On the busy shopping street in Giessen, a German university town twinned with Winchester, migrant Atif Zahoor tucks into a chicken dish with his brother and cousin at the curry restaurant Chillie To Go.
“We paid a trafficking agent for false visas to fly here to Germany. We claimed asylum and came to Giessen camp with other migrants. Three weeks ago, because we had families, they gave us a proper home.”
They have left good jobs back in Karachi, Pakistan, and now want to be Europeans.
In late July the three slipped into Germany with their wives and children, using illegal documents. They live together in a five-bedroom house, rented for them by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government, a 40-minute drive away from Giessen, which is home to the biggest migrants’ camp in the country.
Scroll down for video
“Mrs. Merkel’s offer last month to accept all refugees from war-ravaged Syria opened the floodgates. More than a million migrants are expected this year alone, the bulk of them far from genuine asylum seekers.”
Migrants and refugees queue at the compound outside the Berlin Office of Health and Social Affairs as they wait for their registration. But there are warnings that millions more newcomers should be expected in the current migrant crisis
‘We paid a trafficking agent for false visas to fly here to Germany,’ says 34-year-old Atif. ‘We claimed asylum and came to Giessen camp with other migrants. Three weeks ago, because we had families, they gave us a proper home.’
Atif is well-dressed and speaks perfect English. He used to be a transport manager at Karachi airport and is from a well-to-do family. Between mouthfuls of curry, he adds: ‘But there is violence between political gangs in Karachi. Lots of people are leaving for Europe. The trafficker decided that Germany was the place for us because it is welcoming refugees.’
“There is now deepening disquiet in this Christian country, dotted with churches, that it is being overwhelmed by people of a different religion and culture.”
Yet the raw truth is that Atif is not fleeing war or persecution. He is one of thousands of economic migrants getting into Germany as the EU’s immigration crisis grows bigger each day.
This week, David Cameron said Europe must send failed asylum claimants back to their own countries, while European Council president Donald Tusk has warned that millions more migrants are on their way and ‘the policy of open doors and windows’ must be scrapped.
“Many women have felt the need to sleep in their clothes… they won’t go to the toilet at night because rapes and assaults have taken place on their way to, or from, there. Even in daylight, a walk through the camp is fraught with fear.”
They are tough words, but it’s action that is needed. As Jens Spahn, a deputy finance minister in Chancellor Merkel’s government, said this week: ‘Not everyone can stay in Germany, or in Europe. If people are coming for poverty reasons… we have to send them back.’
Mrs Merkel’s offer last month to accept all refugees from war-ravaged Syria opened the floodgates. More than a million migrants are expected this year alone, the bulk of them far from genuine asylum seekers. There is now deepening disquiet in this Christian country, dotted with churches, that it is being overwhelmed by people of a different religion and culture.
Yesterday, the Mail reported how social workers and women’s groups in Giessen wrote a letter to the local state parliament claiming that rape and child abuse were rife in the refugee camp. The allegations were corroborated by Atif over his curry. ‘The camp is dangerous,’ he agreed. ‘Men of different nationalities fight and women are attacked.’ Read the rest of this entry »
Hungary Shuts Down Budapest Train Station to Migrants Amid Rising Tension Between European CountriesPosted: September 1, 2015 | |
BUDAPEST, Hungary – Keleti train station, which has emerged as ground zero in Europe’s spiraling migration crisis, cut off service to migrants Tuesday as European countries remained bitterly divided and confused over how to handle the situation.
“That they are simply getting on board in Budapest and they make sure they will travel to the neighbouring country – what sort of politics is that?”
Emphasizing the sense of confusion, Austria’s interior minister, Johanna Mikl-Leitner, called on Germany, the preferred destination for many of the migrants, to clarify its stance on asylum rules, and Chancellor Werner Faymann lashed out at Hungary for its seeming failure to register migrants before they were sent on to neighbouring Austria. Read the rest of this entry »