Germany

Increasing Number of Refugees Creating Tension in Germany

Most asylum seekers coming from Syria, Chechnya, and Afghanistan

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BERLIN (AP)—Daniel Krawczyk is convinced bad things will happen to his Berlin neighborhood once the refugees move in: "They'll break into our basements," he says, "steal our kids' cell phones, bring crime and violence and take away our jobs."

The 29-year-old janitor in the eastern outskirts of Berlin is among many locals up in arms over the city's plans to turn an empty high school into a center for up to 400 asylum seekers, part of growing opposition to refugee shelters across the country.

The boat-is-full mentality in Germany is finding an echo in the government: "Even an economically strong country like Germany is considerably challenged" by the influx, Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said recently, in an apparent attempt to reflect voter fears two months ahead of general elections. Meanwhile the far-right is exploiting anti-refugee fears, seeking new supporters as its members participate in rallies against new asylum shelters.

(H/T Adam Simpson)