Increasing Number of Refugees Creating Tension in Germany
Most asylum seekers coming from Syria, Chechnya, and Afghanistan
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)