In another show of diminishing support for refugees who have been forced from their war-torn countries, German authorities have started confiscating their jewellery and valuables to fund their stay.
Officials in Bavaria and other southern states are seeing an increasing number of refugees arriving from Austria, and are now following the likes of Denmark and Switzerland to start this controversial practice.
Anything that wasn’t already taken by the bombings or from having to travel light to flee their homes, these governments are now taking. Whatever happened to human compassion… or empathy for that matter?
The Bavarian interior minister, Joachim Herrmann, said anything worth more than €750 (£567) can legally be seized in his state, adding: “The practice in Bavaria and the federal rules set out in law correspond in substance with the process in Switzerland.”
So far, the average amount seized is ‘in the four figures’ per person across the southern states, Bild reported.
Speaking to the newspaper, the federal government’s integration commissioner, Aydan Özoguz said:
If you apply for asylum here, you must use up your income and wealth before receiving aid. That includes, for example, family jewellery. Even if some prejudices persist – you don’t have it any better as an asylum seeker as someone on unemployment benefit.
These similar policies have caused controversy elsewhere in Europe, but in Germany it has been largely unopposed because attitudes towards the 1.1 million migrants who arrived last year have changed since the Cologne sex attacks.
The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) have said the bill will ‘fuel fear and xenophobia’. That’s pretty much spot on, as far as we’re concerned.
John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International’s Europe and Central Asia director, described the current migrant situation in Europe as ‘a manageable crisis [which] has become a moral test that Europe is in danger of failing dismally.’
These are human-beings. How can anyone think this is okay?