Germany ‘Struggling To Ward Off Panic’ Over Migrant Crisis

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Rachel Stoltzfoos Staff Reporter
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Officials are working to “ward off panic” regarding the 1 million migrants expected to enter the country this year, as the realities of the crisis begin to set in on German residents.

“There have … been signs that the initial elation is fading,” reported German weekly Der Spiegel in a lead article this week, according to NBC News. “Germany is struggling to maintain its composure and to ward off panic.”

Germany is leading European handling of the hundreds of thousands of migrants from the Middle East and Africa entering its southern borders, encouraging other countries to share the burden and initially embracing thousands of the migrants streaming across its borders.

But poorer countries are resisting the idea of taking in even a relatively small number of refugees. Even Germany reversed course on its initial embrace and instituted partial border controls.

A Munich-based economic research firm found an additional 800,000 migrants this year would cost Germany about 10 billion euros, in what the firm calls a “conservative” estimate that does not take into account family members joining the refugees and educational measures.

“Although there are some labor market advantages, they are outweighed by higher unemployment rates and net transfers to immigrants,” the firm wrote, concluding that immigrant integration into the labor market would hurt the German economy.

Many citizens and residents starting to see the migrants make their way into their neighborhoods are concerned about the economic consequences and security.

“Who is going to protect my property when all these refugees arrive?” one man asked at a town hall meeting in Norther Germany. He told NBC he invested all his money in a building on a former U.S. military base under the impression the surrounding area would become an industrial park, but the barracks are now being converted into a refugee camp.

“How is this supposed to continue?” another man asked at the meeting. “We are taking in more and more and more people. Many of them get better housing than a poor worker in Germany,” he added.

Secretary of State John Kerry, who has praised Germany for its example, announced recently the U.S. will take in an extra 45,000 refugees in the next two years in response to the crisis. And the current cap of 70,000 per year will be lifted to 100,000 per year.

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