It is very rare for German Chancellor Angela Merkel to be offered congratulations on her leadership particularly during the Greek crisis but with the stance on the refugee crisis, she is described as heartwarming, humanitarian, kind and warm. Angela Merkel is now being applauded all over the world for her willingness to take in 800,000 refugees and for being one of the world leaders who has stood up for humanitarian values in the largest refugee crisis ever since the Second World War.
The dramatic scenes and pictures the last few days from Hungary and the shores of Greece have strengthened the German leadership’s resolve but the 800,000 refugees is just a projection on how many refugees they can accept until the end of the year. The number is not definitely a quota or a wish by Merkel.
It is a fact that many people will try to go to Germany and everyone who successfully gets there has the right to an asylum hearing. On the other hand, Merkel hands are equally tied to laws and normative stances. Germany however has taken new pragmatism in a commendable way and Merkel is now leading this new pragmatism and making a virtue from sheer necessity.
Merkel has stated that Germany is capable of handling the increase but they need to be more flexible and less bureaucratic and that they have a moral and legal obligation to provide protection to anyone who is trying to escape conflict.
About 45% of the refugees in Germany come from the Western Balkans and it is safe to say that they will comprise the majority of the predicted 800,000. The government is trying to speed up hearing time because lengthy processing times is seen by many as the pull factor for those trying to escape the harsh Balkan winters. With a recognition rate of less than 1% in asylum cases, it is expected that many will be returned to the country of origin to bring down numbers in the future.
The government is also discussing the distribution of non-cash items instead of pocket money to reduce the incentives of coming to Germany. Non-recognized asylum seekers will be deported immediately and more efficiently so that there will be a proper management of migration.