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German report
by Euro Reporter
2016-06-02 08:46:44
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Germany expects 100,000 migrants to leave this year

Germany expects up to 100,000 undocumented migrants to leave the country in 2016, a number Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere Wednesday hailed as high but insufficient after last year's record influx. "If the current trend continues then we will reach a total of between 90,000 and 100,000 deportations and voluntary returns," de Maiziere told reporters. "That is good but not good enough. That is why we must continue to work to ensure that those who must leave our country actually do so."

germany_400_01Between January and April of this year, some 20,000 foreign nationals without permission to stay in Germany returned to their countries of origin voluntarily under government programmes. Those totals marked a strong increase from 2015, when 37,220 returns were recorded during the year as a whole, and 13,574 in 2014. German authorities said 9,280 were deported during the first four months of 2016, compared to 22,369 in all of 2015 and 13,851 in 2014. De Maiziere did not provide a breakdown of the migrants' countries of origin.

Germany has said it aims to speed up the returns of people not granted asylum after the arrival of nearly 1.1 million people fleeing war and poverty in 2015. In particular it has aimed to streamline processing of asylum applications and classified several Balkan states as safe countries of origin to accelerate expulsions. It has also moved to place certain North African countries on the same list. Germany recorded a steep decline in asylum-seeker arrivals in April, according to official data last month, after the closure of the popular route used by migrants through the Balkans. Some 16,000 migrants arrived in April, down almost a quarter from 20,000 in March, and nearly a 90-percent plunge from December when 120,000 arrivals were recorded.


Angela Merkel strikes deal with German states to put brakes on green energy

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has hammered out a deal with state premiers on the latest reform to Germany’s renewable energy law aimed at curbing the costs and controlling the speed of the roll-out of green power sources. After a meeting with the leaders of Germany’s 16 states that stretched into the early hours of Wednesday, the government agreed to cap the expansion of onshore wind power at 2.8 gigawatts in capacity per year.

In addition only a certain amount of new capacity will be permitted in north Germany to avoid overburdening the electricity grid. “We have come a long way,” Merkel said after the meeting. Generous green subsidies have led to a boom in renewable energy, such as wind and solar power. But the rapid expansion has pushed up electricity costs in Europe’s biggest economy and placed a strain on its grid.

The latest reforms are aimed at slowing the growth in renewables, which accounted for around a third of Germany’s electricity last year, up from 28% in 2014. With the government sticking to its target for an increase in the share of renewable sources to 40-45% of total electricity production by 2025, it will have to put the brakes on growth to avoid overshooting. One of the biggest sticking points in the talks was a plan to limit the amount of onshore wind, with critics saying this would endanger Germany’s long-term energy goals and put jobs in the sector at risk. The government and states failed to agree on upper limits for biomass, which is important in the southern state of Bavaria. But Merkel said she expected to be able to clear up this point.


Child killings on the rise in Germany

Germany must do more to protect its children from abuse, according to a new report released by the children's charity "Deutsche Kinderhilfe." The charity pointed to "structural problems" in the youth care system. The children's charity said it was "shocked" at the new police figures for 2015, which found that 130 children were killed in Germany last year - 81 percent of whom were under six years old. That represented a significant increase on the 108 killed in 2014. "Three dead children per week, 11 abused and 38 sexually abused per day - that shows that violence against children has become a part of everyday life," said Kathinka Beckmann, social studies professor at the University of Applied Sciences in Koblenz. "Children are victims of violence and abuse every day," Holger Münch, president of the Federal Criminal Police Office, said in a statement. "They're neglected, sexually abused, and the pictures of the abuse are published on the Internet. Child pornography is a mass phenomenon."

Other crimes, however, showed a slight drop compared to 2014, with the number of abuse victims dropping by nearly 7 percent. Similarly the number of sexual abuse and rape victims also dropped, though only slightly, by just over 3 percent. But at a press conference in Berlin on Wednesday, which happened to be International Children's Day, the children's charity said it "did not share the optimism" of the German government about the effects of its new children's protection law adopted four years. "Resting on the measures of the child protection law passed four years ago is not possible with these figures, especially since this law hasn't solved the structural problems of youth protection; namely, the orientation around economic instead of needs-based standards," the charity said. Berlin-based social worker Kerstin Kubisch-Piesk, cited two examples during the press conference when child protection workers were not able to attend to calls, either for lack of a car or because the distance to cover was too great. "This shows both that child protection offices remain underfunded and understaffed," she said. "Child protection and quality do not come for free," she said. "The staff reductions have left the child protection offices at the limit of their capacity ... reflection and analysis is lacking. The quality of a measure does not determine whether it will be continued or implemented, but its cost."

Beckmann chimed in with this, calling one of the main problems the insufficient number of house visits when dangerous situations are reported. The professor said that some 17 percent of threatened children have no contact with youth protection officers. But the public image of state child protection offices was also a factor, according to Kubisch-Piesk. "The picture of the child protection office is of taking children away," she said. In fact, she argued those offices always function when they are able to cooperate with families. "The cooperation with families is the core task of child protection," she said. "Because anyone who isn't able to establish contact with the family in a crisis is threatened with failure. Protecting children is no voluntary act of charity, but one of the fundamental duties of the state," said Rainer Becker, chairman of Deutsche Kinderhilfe. "We're not asking for support, but for a paradigm shift. We want more money and more time for quality; we want the voices of all involved, the individual employees, the children and their families, to be heard."


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Emanuel Paparella2016-06-02 11:23:32
Child killing, deportation quotas, curbing of green power, and a state run by bankers and savage capitalists. Is there some kind of nexus here? Most probably. All one has to do is research the subject to find out.

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