News"Twice as many". Berlin struggles with soaring asylum applications

"Twice as many". Berlin struggles with soaring asylum applications

Group of immigrants
Group of immigrants
Images source: © PAP | FEHIM DEMIR
ed. MDol

4:38 PM EDT, November 1, 2023

Approximately 200 migrants arrive and apply for asylum in Berlin every day - twice as many as in September. All shelters are at capacity, which has led to hotels being rented and converted into temporary accommodations. Berlin's former airports, Tegel and Tempelhof, are also being used as emergency quarters, according to "Bild". Berlin's Mayor estimates that the annual cost of supporting refugees amounts to 1 billion euros.

The Berlin Senate reports that the average cost of housing one individual in a rented hotel is 57 euros per day.

At the Tempelhof airport, plans for 5,500 living spaces are currently in progress. "On Friday, 600 single men arrived at hangar number 1. The majority are from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Moldova, and Turkey," states the "Bild" portal.

In September, Berlin's Mayor Kai Wegner made a promise: "Everyone who comes to this city should have a roof over their head." The newspaper notes, however, that maintaining this promise is challenging with 200 new arrivals daily.

The living conditions at Tempelhof are compact. Four people share a residential container with an area of roughly 130 square feet, providing each person with approximately 32 square feet of living space. Sanitary facilities are located outside the hangar. "These conditions aren't meant for permanent living," the portal comments.

But where will the 600 men from hangar number 1 eventually settle? "There are no other living spaces and certainly no apartments available for them," it adds.

Scholz's Announcement

In contrast to Chancellor Scholz's recent announcement about deporting a larger number of individuals whose asylum requests have been rejected, the social affairs senator Cansel Kiziltepe termed these potential actions as "symbolic discussions and quick fixes," which she believes won't significantly alleviate the situation.

As per "Bild", Kiziltepe hasn't proposed an alternative solution. "She declared that Berlin is overcrowded during the summer, but she hasn't taken any tangible steps to solve the issue as the old airports continue to fill up with people who have no place in Berlin," the newspaper observes.

The state board of the SPD party argued against shutting off Europe to refugees in early September, asserting they should not be turned away. The Berlin Senate remains part of the "Safe Havens Cities" alliance, an entity advocating for increased immigration, the portal reports.

"Bild" reiterates that, according to the Mayor, the city spends about 1 billion euros per year on refugee-related expenses, a budgetary stress the city can ill afford. "Achieving successful integration is more complex than ever. Anybody who doesn't vehemently oppose uncontrolled immigration is behaving irresponsibly," the newspaper points out.

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