- Title: EUROPE-MIGRANTS/GERMANY Eastern German city sets up tents as refugee influx soars
- Date: 25th July 2015
- Summary: BERLIN, GERMANY (FILE - JULY 9, 2015) (REUTERS) VARIOUS EXTERIORS OF SCHLOSS BELLEVUE CASTLE, GERMAN PRESIDENT'S OFFICIAL RESIDENCE GERMAN PRESIDENT JOACHIM GAUCK ARRIVING TO DELIVER SPEECH, TOGETHER WITH HIS PARTNER DANIELA SCHADT (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN PRESIDENT, JOACHIM GAUCK, SAYING: "We are seeing an increase of xenophobic attitudes and some people don't even shy back from attacks anymore. I am thinking of what we have recently witnessed with these vile attacks on refugee shelters. It's unbearable." WIDE OF GAUCK SPEAKING
- Embargoed: 9th August 2015 13:00
- Location: Germany
- Country: Germany
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVAUP8AM2W6X5SKADU8YYW8ABYD
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The eastern German state of Brandenburg began setting up tents in Eisenhuettenstadt on Saturday (July 25) to accommodate a growing number of asylum-seekers, as Germany struggles to provide housing to a record-breaking number of new arrivals.
The state said in a statement that it was responding to the "very high number of asylum-seekers" with an "emergency measure."
As Red Cross workers were busy setting up rows of tents intended for seven people each, the state's under-secretary for interior affairs, Matthias Kahl, said the city on the Polish border "has a capacity of around 1,800 places."
"All of those are filled. We have roughly 500 asylum seekers arriving every week and this strong influx of asylum seekers, especially from the Western Balkans, unfortunately forces us and has forced us to set up tents both at the main refugee shelter and now here for another 500 people."
Speaking for Brandenburg, Kahl said that "as a state, we are swamped with the sheer number of people, the counties are overwhelmed with building shelters and housing the people and the communities are overwhelmed with accommodating the children in kindergartens and schools."
"The many, many volunteers who arrange for welcome ceremonies and German lessons and so on are also overwhelmed. What you are seeing here is the extent of this influx."
More than twice as many refugees are expected in Germany this year than the 200,000 who sought shelter last year.
Of the 85,394 arrivals in the first quarter alone, most came from Kosovo, Syria, Serbia, Albania, Iraq and Afghanistan.
In poor regions of Germany, fears of competition from refugees for state resources are high.
In well-off areas, fears of falling property values or a rise in crime also fuel protests and resistance to new shelters being created.
In a recent speech in Berlin, President Joachim Gauck departed from his prepared text to condemn the attacks in an unusually strong language.
"These vile attacks on refugee shelters ... it's unbearable," he said.
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