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War in Ukraine: Nancy Faeser accuses Friedrich Merz of "smuggling" against refugees


Friedrich Merz claims that there is "social tourism" among Ukrainian refugees. The allegation by the CDU leader immediately triggered outrage, not only in the traffic light coalition. He has since apologized.

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Friedrich Merz

Photo: Political Moments / IMAGO

Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser attacks the CDU leader Friedrich Merz because of the allegation of "social tourism" among Ukrainian refugees.

"Sentiment on the backs of Ukrainian women and children fleeing Putin's bombs and tanks is shabby," wrote Faeser on Twitter.

»Social tourism« was the »nonsense word of the year« in 2013.

It was “unworthy of every democrat even in 2022”.

Merz had accused the federal government of triggering "social tensions" in Germany with its refugee and immigration policy.

In an interview with "Bild TV," he referred to the federal government's decision in spring to take Ukrainian refugees out of the asylum-seeker system and grant them the right to social benefits.

This leads to "considerable distortions," Merz claimed.

"We are now experiencing social tourism from these refugees: to Germany, back to the Ukraine, to Germany, back to the Ukraine."

It is not known which sources Merz relies on for his statement.

The Greens also massively criticized the statements made by the opposition leader.

"How does it actually fit in with the much-vaunted solidarity of the Union with Ukraine that Friedrich Merz speaks of 'social tourism' in the context of people fleeing this terrible war of aggression?" asked Chairwoman Ricarda Lang on Twitter on Tuesday morning.

Fraction leader Britta Haßelmann wrote there: »Wanting to make a name for yourself by degrading other people is an instrument that right-wing populists regularly use.

Friedrich Merz knows that too.

Any means of self-promotion seems right to him.«

For the Greens foreign policy expert Jürgen Trittin, there is no question that Russian conscientious objectors should also be given protection in Germany: "Anyone who tries to prevent this is doing the business of the warmonger Vladimir Putin," he said in the RTL / ntv "Frühstart".

"Anyone fleeing a war in Ukraine is not a social tourist," said Trittin.

The outgoing Ukrainian ambassador in Berlin, Andriy Melnyk, was also outraged by the statements: "Where does this nonsense about alleged 'social tourism' by Ukrainian war refugees come from?" Melnyk wrote to Merz on Twitter.

'You have the right to visit your homeland at any time.

Where does this cheap populism come from?'

Merz has since apologized for his choice of words.

"If my choice of words is felt to be offensive, I apologize profusely," he tweeted.

There was a lot of criticism for his statements about the refugees from Ukraine, explained Merz and added: "I regret the use of the word 'social tourism'.

That was an inaccurate description of an isolated problem.”

Merz wrote that his advice »was exclusively about the lack of registration of the refugees.

Far be it from me to criticize the refugees from Ukraine, who are confronted with a hard fate.«

as /dpa/AFP

Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2022-09-27

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