- In an unprecedented move, Hamburg authorities confiscated six residential units in the Hamm district near the city center. A trustee appointed by the city is now renovating the properties and will rent them — against the will of the owner — to tenants chosen by the city. District spokeswoman Sorina Weiland said that all renovation costs will be billed to the owner of the properties.
- Similar expropriation measures have been proposed in Berlin, the German capital, but abandoned because they were deemed unconstitutional.
- Some Germans are asking what is next: Will authorities now limit the maximum amount of living space per person, and force those with large apartments to share them with strangers?
Authorities in Hamburg, the second-largest city in Germany, have begun confiscating private dwellings to ease a housing shortage — one that has been acutely exacerbated by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to allow more than two million migrants into the country in recent years.
De Maiziere is adamant that the EU needs to adopt a common policy towards refugees and that Berlin is unable to handle the burden on its own. Under the Dublin regulations, migrants should bePROCESSED in the first member state they entered, which for many was Greece.
“We have done a lot in Europe in order to improve the refugee situation in Greece,” de Maiziere told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper, as cited by Deutsche Welle. “This must have consequences that will enable refugees to be sent back to Greece according to the Dublin regulations.”
Germany has not sent migrants back to Greece since 2011 due to deficiencies in the Greek asylum processing system and the fact that the country is struggling to cope with the number of refugees already in Greece. There are currently 50,000 migrants in Greece who are waiting to be sent on to other EU countries.
In preparation for the visit of U.S. President Barack Obama, riot police in the German town of Hameln needed somewhere for the officers to stay overnight. The police were offered a barracks that previously held migrants but were shocked to discover that the past residents had smeared faeces, vomit and blood all over the walls of the former asylum home reports Junge Freiheit.
North Rhine-Westphalia police refused the accommodation due to the unsanitary conditions the barracks had been left in. The Facebook page of the German police union posted pictures of the former migrant home saying, “semen, blood and faeces on the walls and in the beds. Inside cockroaches were eating.”
Five days after Islamic State attacks in Brussels killed 31 people, extraordinary security controls left some faithful waiting in line for hours and forced some to watch the Mass from up to three-quarters of a mile away from St. Peter’s Square. Even so, the ceremony drew as many as 200,000 on a sunny and crisp Easter morning, according to media reports.
Speaking from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica, Francis lamented the difficulties of political and economic refugees looking to settle in Europe, and he discussed the religious significance of the Jesus resurrection symbolized by Easter, something he called a “message of life” for the world.
“This day invites us not to forget those men and women seeking a better future, an ever more numerous throng of migrants and refugees, including many children, fleeing war, hunger, poverty and social injustice,” the pontiff said.
Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday the attack in Brussels that killed more than 30 people is the “latest brutal reminder” that more must be done to defeat Islamic State militants, including by European Union member countries.
In an address at Stanford University in California, Clinton said the United States and Europe should take a “harder look” at protocols at airports and other “soft sites” that are outside security perimeters.
Clinton also said “there is much we can do to support our European partners” but “there is also more they can do to share the burden with us.”
Clinton said she would like to see more European countries investing in defense and security in the way Germany has during the Obama administration.
“The most urgent task is stopping the flow of foreign fighters to and from the Middle East” who are citizens of France, Germany, Belgium and the United Kingdom with European passports that make it easier for them to cross into Syria and return radicalized, Clinton said.
Clinton said that many European nations do not currently alert their neighbors when they turn away a “suspected jihadist” at their border or when a citizen’s passport is stolen. European Union countries also need to share traveler information more readily, Clinton said.
“It’s actually easier for the United States to get flight manifests from EU nations than it is for EU nations to get them from their own neighbors, thanks to an agreement that the United States negotiated when I was secretary of state,” Clinton said.
Additional steps that could be taken in Europe are the creation of a “new, unified, European border and coast guard” to strengthen the external borders of a continent that is under “unprecedented pressure from refugees and migrants,” Clinton said.
There just might be some hope for Europe after all. Officials in Poland are rejecting migrants following the Brussels attack, condemning the call for open borders as a suicidal philosophy.
In a statement by Poland’s prime minister Beata Szydlo Wednesday, Poland rejected calls by the EU to relocate migrants flooding into Europe from the Middle East, saying the attack on Brussels proves that to be a foolish action.
“Twenty-eight EU countries agreed to solve the issue through relocation. But I will say it very clearly. I do not see it possible to allow migrants in Poland at the moment,” Szydlo told the Superstacja TV broadcaster on Wednesday.
Szydlo accused German chancellor Angela Merkel of having “invited migrants to Europe.”
“This carefree attitude led to the problems that we have today,” she said. “We cannot agree that thousands of migrants, who come to improve their lives, flow to Europe. There are also terrorists among them.”
In a meeting with NGO leaders at her Warsaw office Wednesday, Szydlo also claimed the EU had no control on the refugee crisis.
“Europe is incapable of dealing with this enormous crisis,” she said.
According to the EU Observer, Poland does not plan to take any formal steps against the EU resolution, but will instead withdraw while hoping the plan collapses on itself.
Ostersund, Sweden, cancelled its annual “Earth Hour” celebration this year. All the lights in the city are turned off during the one-hour event to symbolize the “green” goal of being 100% fossil fuel free.
The city cancelled the event this year because it has been inundated with Muslim migrants and has experienced an epidemic of rapes and sexual assaults. Some victims have been as young as 10 years old. As a result, residents of Ostersund are now afraid of the dark.
Here’s a thought: Instead of fretting about becoming fossil fuel free, how about becoming barbarian free and limiting the number of radical Islamists coming into your nation?