‘Germany welcomes asylum-seekers, not illegal migrants’
07 Septembar 2015, Nirapad News: Germany ambassador to Bangladesh Dr Thomas Prinz commented that his country welcomes political asylum-seekers, but the illegal migrants will not be able to stay there.
“Last week, images of the Munich rail station went around the globe. The Odyssey of thousands of exhausted refugees from war-torn countries like Syria and Iraq finally came to an end, when they were welcomed by hundreds of volunteers in the Bavarian city,” the envoy added.
According to Prinz, German authorities handed out water and food to the tired masses, while bystanders cheered when refugees disembarked trains from Austria and Hungary.
“Europe is facing its biggest refugee crisis in recent history. Asylum-seekers from conflict zones in the Middle East and Africa are fleeing war, terror and oppression.”
He further said that this year, Germany alone is expecting 800,000 asylum-seekers, a great challenge for local communities, the government’s budget and its citizens.”
“The number of refugees in Germany has quadrupled in the last twelve months.”
The envoy underlined, “Due to our history we have a special responsibility towards political refugees from crisis zones around the world. I am proud that my fellow citizens acknowledged the humanitarian dimension of the crisis and rose to the occasion by welcoming exhausted families from Syria and Iraq in Germany, handing out food, water and toys”.
Reaffirming the existing burden sharing system within the EU, ambassador Prinz emphasized, “This is a humanitarian catastrophe. Refugees needed quick help and Germany was happy to provide aid in this exceptional case – this was a time for generous and swift assistance”.
“Nevertheless, we have to differentiate between desperate asylum-seekers and economic migrants. While we will welcome political asylum-seekers in Germany, illegal migrants will not be able to stay in our country.”
There are plenty of legal opportunities to move to Germany, while penalties for illegal migration are hard, the ambassador warned.
“In the past days I have received numerous positive reactions from Bangladeshi citizens, complimenting my government on its approach towards refugees in Europe. Let me extend my heartfelt gratitude to all of our Bangladeshi friends that gave us moral support in these challenging times,” added Dr Prinz.