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In the summer, Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said no to Berlin's wish to admit more refugees. Now the Senate has decided to sue. © Photo: Pangiotis Balaskas / imago Children and young people from the overcrowded Moria camp on Lesbos, which burned down in September, during a protest march against their living conditions.
A good three months after the Federal Interior Minister Berlin banned the admission of further refugees, the state is now suing Horst Seehofer's no. The red-red-green city government decided at its meeting on Tuesday.
"After Senator Geisel turned to the Federal Minister of the Interior in vain in August and got an impression of the situation in Greece himself in mid-September, an action is now required," said a statement from the Senate Chancellery. It also emphasizes that there is more to her than this one program. "It is about the fundamental clarification of the conditions under which the Federal Ministry of the Interior may refuse to agree to the state admission programs of the states."
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In July, Minister Seehofer (CSU) rejected the Berlin program because it endangered the national uniformity of refugee reception. He also spoke of a national solo effort that makes European solutions more difficult. According to the Residence Act, the federal states need the green light from Berlin for such recordings.
Shortly after his no for Berlin, Seehofer also sent a letter of rejection to Thuringia , which also wanted to take in more refugees than the national key allows. Seehofer's house, on the other hand, approved earlier state programs, such as the one for refugee Yazidis in Baden-Württemberg.
SPD initially had concerns about state programs
In both red-red-green state governments, in Berlin and Thuringia, the SPD also had concerns about the state programs for a while. In Thuringia, the Green Minister Dirk Adams is responsible, in Berlin, which is now suing, Interior Senator Andreas Geisel from the SPD. It was not initially known whether the government of the Free State would join the lawsuit.
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In any case, the smaller Berlin coalition partners showed up pleased with the Senate decision. Bettina Jarasch, the Greens' candidate for the office of governing mayor for the next House of Representatives election, told Tagesspiegel: "It is neither morally, politically nor legally justifiable that the Federal Ministry of the Interior is refusing to provide humanitarian assistance to people in need."
The Residence Act gives the federal states much more leeway than the Federal Ministry of the Interior wants to allow them, said Jarasch. But this way the statehood of the federal states will be massively restricted. "The federal states shouldn't put up with that."
Ethiopian parents fear for future of refugee children
Seated on the ground in a camp in Sudan's Gedaref region, Ethiopian schoolteacher Tadros Bay reads a story to four children huddled around him. However, several refugees interviewed by AFP in another Gedaref camp, Um Raquba, say the abuses were committed by federal army troops. "Soldiers of the federal army attacked our hotel, looted it as well as our other properties," Iessa Burhano charges.Now, her three children, aged eight, 10 and 13, who were supposed to return to school this month, are "refugees and will certainly not be able to resume their studies", she says.
Left: Seehofer's decision takes the law ad absurdum
The Berlin state chairwoman of the Left Party, Katina Schubert, tweeted: "Good!" She had previously argued that Seehofer's No would reduce the possibility of launching one's own state programs, as provided by law, to absurdity.
The professor for public law at the Berlin Free University, Helmut Aust, and the political scientist and former president of the Viadrina University in Frankfurt / Oder, Gesine Schwan, had also declared Seehofer's arguments with national uniformity to be invalid in the Tagesspiegel. After all, the law expressly provides for the states' own programs. "Seehofer wants to take the wind out of the sails of municipalities"
The "Seebrücke" alliance welcomed the Berlin step and called on the other two countries with admission programs - besides Thuringia, Bremen - to follow the example. The lawsuit is "consistent and necessary". 200 municipalities and three federal states have already wanted to take in refugees, and the interior minister "is preventing this because the suffering at the external borders plays into his politics". The upcoming winter and the pandemic made the situation even worse for people seeking protection, explained Doreen Johann from Sea-Watch, another sea rescue NGO.
Bettina Jarasch from the Greens also suspects that the No Seehofers
is about the cities, of which 200 have now declared that they are open to further refugees : Seehofer wants to "take the wind out of the sails of this growing movement." ".
The city alliance, to which Berlin also belongs and which is coordinated by Potsdam's Lord Mayor Mike Schubert (SPD), had another success in October when the Chancellor invited several representatives for the first time and listened to her view of the situation. When it was founded in the summer of 2018, it only had around 30 municipalities and districts that declared themselves "safe havens" and emphasized that they had enough space to take in more people and integrate them in the long term.
Refugees from Ethiopia conflict scratch a living in Sudan .
Ten-year-old Samarwat Tkhal fled fighting in Ethiopia's Tigray region this month -- now she sells food to survive, among tens of thousands of fellow refugees building a new life in neighbouring Sudan. Tkhal, wearing a red T-shirt and yellow trousers, wanders the dusty streets of "Village Eight", a transit point just across the border into Sudan that has rapidly swelled into the size of a small town. It is the first stop for many of the Ethiopians fleeing their homeland.Tkhal holds up a box of chocolate cakes, as she shyly approaches potential customers."My father gives me a box of 50 cakes every morning that I sell," she said. "I work from morning to night.