Letter to Angela Merkel Bonn agrees to take in refugees in emergency situations
BONN/BERLIN · Together with the mayors of Cologne and Düsseldorf, Bonn’s mayor Ashok Sridharan has written an open letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel in which they have offered to take in refugees in cases of emergency.
In an open letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), the mayors of the cities of Bonn, Düsseldorf and Cologne have offered to accept refugees in emergency situations. In particular, they wanted to work to ensure that the rescuing of refugees on the Mediterranean Sea resumed, the city leaders said on Thursday in a joint appeal. "We want to send a signal for humanity, for the right to asylum and for the integration of refugees," said Henriette Reker (Cologne, no party), Thomas Geisel (Dusseldorf, SPD) and Ashok Sridharan (Bonn, CDU) in the letter.
"We agree with you that there must be a European solution to intake of refugees, asylum procedures and the integration or repatriation of refugees," the letter to the Chancellor said. However, until a European solution was agreed upon with all concerned, it was urgently necessary to resume sea rescue in the Mediterranean and to ensure that the rescued people are taken in. "Our cities can and want to accept refugees in need - just as other cities and communities in Germany have already offered."
With their offer, the cities also want to counter the supposedly prevailing mood that "fences and walls instead of a fair European distribution system can solve the plight of refugees". The "human disaster in the Mediterranean" has reached new terrifying proportions since the beginning of the year. More than1,400 people have died at the borders of the European Union, said the mayors. In June alone, 629 people drowned on their way across the Mediterranean - partly because private initiatives to rescue them at sea had been criminalized and their work hampered.
The situation in the Mediterranean has worsened because the new Italian government has denied international rescue mission ships entry into the country's ports. Many relief organizations have had to suspend their initiatives. On the past week-ends, several thousand people have demonstrated in various cities in Germany to call attention to the fate of people fleeing via the Mediterranean.
Orig. text: epd