In controversial protest against Merkel’s open border policy, local officials in Bavaria send busload of 51 migrants to her office.
German local officials on Thursday sent a bus with 51 Syrian refugees on board to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office in Berlin, in a protest against her migrant policy.
The district administrator behind the road trip, Peter Dreier, said his rural area was buckling under the strain of a mass influx that brought 1.1 million refugees and irregular migrants to Germany last year.
The coach, filled with refugees aged 21 to 45, left the Bavarian town of Landshut around 0900 GMT for the 570 kilometer (350 mile) trip to the capital and was expected to arrive at the chancellory building in the late afternoon.
Local citizens had told him “it’s time we set a limit,” he said on news TV channel N24. “We are trying to help these people integrate. But that won’t work if this year we face another wave of one million, or even more.”
“That’s why it’s time to take a stand, so that politicians change their tune,” he said, adding that he had warned Merkel about his plans for such a journey in a phone call last October.
“Look at what is happening abroad, other EU member countries are turning away from us, it can’t go on like this,” he said.
The head of refugee support group Pro Asyl, Guenther Burkhardt, charged that with the trip, “people are being exploited for the sake of media footage.”
‘Ability to cope’
“This doesn’t solve the problems… this is a stunt that misuses the plight of refugees to send the message ‘We want to close the borders’.”
Dreier said in a statement his district was running 66 migrant facilities, including shelters for unaccompanied minors.