The Social Democratic Party of Germany wants to welcome more refugees from Moria

Posted on Sep 22, 2020
Raleigh, NC

Politicians in Germany are debating how many more refugees to take from the Moria Refugee Camp on the Greek Island of Lesbos. The situation became more urgent during the second week of September when a fire raged through the camp, leaving thousands of refugees without even basic shelter. The Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) and the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU), who govern together in a “Grand Coalition,” have been debating how many people to welcome to Germany. The debate is being made against the backdrop of the rise of anti-immigrant sentiment after Germany took in over a million refugees in the past five years, and the right-wing populist party Alternative for Germany (AFD) gained popularity due to its anti-immigrant message.

In a reversal of roles, the CDU is for restricting the number of refugees they want to allow to enter Germany, and the SPD is for taking in a larger number. All the old debates have resurfaced: representatives argue that there should be a European solution; that a compromise can be struck where Germany allows in more refugees in exchange for deporting all who come into the country illegally; and that as soon as Germany welcomes in more refugees Turkey will allow more to attempt the journey across the Mediterranean. What seems to be the common ground is that both the CDU and SPD want to solve the problem quickly, as the refugee crisis has done nothing to help their political fortunes. As the article puts it clearly, “the government must help in some manner, but how?”

[1] From an article entitled Bis Mittwoch and published on September 14, 2020 in Der Spiegel

[2] “Irgendwie muss die Bundesregierung helfen. Nur wie?”