(Reuters) – Bavaria may house refugees in Oktoberfest beer festival tents as an influx of people fleeing war in Syria has stretched facilities to the limit, a leading newspaper said on Wednesday, highlighting a growing problem for Germany’s central government.
The prosperous German state’s ruling conservatives, part of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s bloc, worry that more support is seeping away to new rightist party, the Alternative for Germany (AfD), and many blame the recent surge in refugee numbers.
Germany has the largest number of refugees and asylum-seekers in the European Union and net immigration is at its highest in two decades. Local governments complain they lack the facilities to cope and many residents are angry about the cost.
In September, asylum claims in Europe’s biggest economy jumped 39 percent from a year ago to 19,043, driven by arrivals from Syria, interior ministry data released on Wednesday showed. For the year so far, applications are up almost 60 percent.
Bureaucratic bottlenecks mean more than 2,000 asylum seekers are waiting to be registered in Munich. With barracks already full, many are sleeping outside. Facing a popular outcry at TV pictures of trainloads of refugees pouring onto Munich station, the Bavarian government has set up an “asylum task force”…
(Photo: Asylum seekers resting on bunk beds at a refugee tent camp called ‘The Tent’ in Munich October 10, 2014.
Credit: Reuters/Michaela Rehle)