Germany pleads for quotas of refugees as thousands more arrive and weather chillsComments
Thousands more refugees arrived on Tuesday (Sept. 8) from Hungary into Austria, where the weather is getting colder.
The topic does give us a headache
Austrian police say at least 7,000 people have filled the Westbahnhof train station in the capital Vienna in the last 24 hours.
Many travel on to Germany by train, where residents and volunteers have been greeting them and offering them food, water and shelter.
But some are now starting to ask how long the open arms policy can last, as the influx shows no sign of abating and temperatures begin to drop.
“The topic does give us a headache. Right now, we are glad to see great willingness to help among the German people,” German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Monday (Sept. 7). “ But we’re also concerned about how long this is going to last. Especially if the numbers are as they are now.”
The German government has urged other EU countries to also open their doors to share the burden of the arrivals. Germany expects up to 800,000 asylum seekers this year — that’s ten times more than Sweden, for example.
“Sweden and Germany think that fixed quotas or fixed figures for refugees are needed for those who are eligible to asylum and who should be fairly distributed according to clear principles set by the EU member states,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters after meeting with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven.
“Unfortunately, we are a long way from that, and we believe that something must change,” she added.
Some 20,000 refugees have arrived in Munich over the past weekend alone.
Families have been given shelter at the local exhibition hall, where Bavarian authorities say there is room to accommodate around 3,000 people.