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Misery camps on the Greek islands: Stahlknecht warns against the admission of refugee children – politics

He is the first prominent CDU politician who is openly opposed to the admission of refugee children from the Greek islands in Germany – and at the same time provokes the coalition partners SPD and Greens in the Magdeburg coalition: the demand is currently absolutely inappropriate “and” out of place ” the state SPD, bringing unaccompanied minors and corona risk groups from Lesbos to Germany, Saxony-Anhalt’s CDU chairman Holger Stahlknecht said on Twitter on Monday.

A move of the refugees is “neither politically nor healthily sustainable,” explained Stahlknecht, who has also been Minister of the Interior in Saxony-Anhalt for years. As a justification, he said: “Our focus is on slowing the daily rise in Covid 19 numbers and protecting our population.” The state SPD had previously opted for the evacuation of children, pregnant women and corona risk groups in particular the Greek islands.

Camp Moria on Lesvos is completely overcrowded: planned for 3000 refugees, now live in and around the camp more than …Photo: Elias Marcou / Reuters

Stahlknecht thus solved a violent argument in the Kenya coalition. The parliamentarian Henriette Quade from the opposition Left Party even accused Stahlknecht of using his statement to orientate himself on the AfD.

Moria is designed for 3,000 refugees, more than 20,000 live there

The situation is particularly dramatic in the Moria camp on the island of Lesbos. It is designed for 3,000 refugees, but more than 20,000 people now live in and around the camp under poor hygienic conditions. An outbreak of the corona pandemic in the camp would very likely lead to disaster and mass extinction, as refugee initiatives have been warning for weeks.

In the black-red-green Saxony-Anhalt government alliance, taken office in 2016, It has been crunching for years – parts of the state CDU sympathize with the AfD instead of standing with the SPD and Greens as coalition partners. Stahlknecht’s statements are now exacerbating this discussion.

SPD: “Social-ethical bankruptcy declaration of the CDU”

Saxony-Anhalt’s SPD leader Juliane Kleemann spoke of a “social-ethical declaration of bankruptcy by the CDU”, which was particularly “bitter in the middle of Holy Week and with a view of Easter”.

Kleemann told Tagesspiegel: “It has been the same picture for months: Whenever Holger Stahlknecht has the chance to move the CDU Saxony-Anhalt a little further to the center, he stands on the right-hand side. With his scandalous statement about the refugees in the Greek camps, he appears isolated in the spectrum of the federal CDU and even compared to Seehofer. “

Greens call for the admission of 100 refugees in Saxony-Anhalt

The Green Party state chairman Sebastian Striegel told Tagesspiegel that Saxony-Anhalt had options for decent accommodation for refugees, including decentrally. “Instead of sealing ourselves off according to the ideas of the CDU chief, we as the federal state should offer our capacities aggressively towards the federal government. We can help. Let’s do it. Now!”

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Together with his co-country leader Susan Sziborra-Seidlitz, Striegel wrote to Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff (CDU) on Tuesday: “Those seeking protection in the refugee camps in Greece are at risk of a humanitarian catastrophe if the virus spreads there.”

The two Greens politicians demanded: “As the state of Saxony-Anhalt, we should make our contribution to the evacuation of the camps in Greece. We therefore ask you to declare your willingness to take over 100 vulnerable persons, especially unaccompanied minors, as well as mothers and / or fathers with their children to Saxony-Anhalt. ”

Klingbeil speaks of agitation

Various federal politicians became as clear as the SPD and the Greens in Saxony-Anhalt. SPD general secretary Lars Klingbeil tweeted with a view to the statement of the Saxony-Anhalt CDU: “I think baiting and playing people against each other is inappropriate.”

Protest for the evacuation of the Moria camp on Lesbos on Sunday in Frankfurt am Main.Photo: Frank Rumpenhorst / dpa

Juso boss Kevin Kühnert wrote in the short message service: “For weeks (!!!) people have been deliberately trying to find a solution with their party without the public (!!!) so that Germany can promise the promised (!!!) children (!!!) from Greece. And THAT is your contribution to the debate? Hallelujah, that is pathetic. Bah! “

The Wuppertal SPD member of the Bundestag, Helge Lindh, is also outraged and has been campaigning for refugees for years. He told the Tagesspiegel: “Did Stahlknecht once ask the children in Lesbos, who have to vegetate in the dirt without hygiene and social distance, whether they think their deaths are politically and healthily sustainable?”

The Christian Democrat Stahlknecht needs triple tuition – in Christian social teaching, in the Geneva Refugee Convention and in matters of human rights. “Saving human lives from Covid-19 must not be a question of origin in Europe. It is up to us to prevent a fatal outbreak of the disease on the Greek islands. “

Kipping doubts the Christian values ​​of the CDU

The left-wing federal chairwoman Katja Kipping told Tagesspiegel: “We support the SPD’s call to take people from the crowded camps now. We are fighting Corona, not humanity. ”The opposition from the ranks of the Union shows“ how bad it is for the Christian values ​​of this party even at Easter ”.

Stahlknecht’s statements came at the wrong time also for those Union politicians who are campaigning for the reception of refugees from the Greek islands, which has not been making progress for weeks – despite the corona crisis. The CDU district administrator of the Burgenland district, Götz Ulrich, without mentioning Stahlknecht by name, went a distance from the CDU state chairman: “We can no longer wait here until this or that condescends to join in. It has to be done immediately! “

Letter from Union MPs to von der Leyen

On the initiative of the North Rhine-Westphalian CDU MP Thomas Rachel, more than 50 members of the CDU / CSU parliamentary group turned to EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen on Monday to promote the admission of refugee children from the Greek islands in Germany. Originally, eight countries had agreed to take up to 1,600 refugee children together.

“In view of the rapid growth of the corona virus worldwide, it is imperative to immediately take refugee children from camps on the Greek islands,” the letter said. The EU is “in a serious ordeal” given the catastrophic conditions. So far, only Luxembourg has concrete plans to evacuate a dozen refugee children this week – the Federal Ministry of the Interior, led by Horst Seehofer, refers to the appointments of a “coalition of the willing”, hence a necessary one European unification.

Are Luxembourg and Germany leading the way?

CDU politician Rachel, a member of the EKD Council and Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Education, told Tagesspiegel on Tuesday that Germany could make a start together with Luxembourg. “That is not a no single national act. Such a move can also encourage other countries to make a contribution. ”If Corona breaks out in the Moria camp in Lesbos, the situation there will be“ very terrible ”. It is also a question of the European partnership not to let Greece down in this situation.

CDU members of the Bundestag from Saxony-Anhalt are not among the signatories of the letter to von der Leyen. Initiator Rachel does not want to comment on the statement of his party friend Stahlknecht. In terms of content, however, he contradicts: “Germany is of course able to quarantine refugees from the Greek islands and provide them with medical care.”

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