Archiv flassbeck-economics | 21.10.2015 (editiert am 25.05.2016)

Refugees, deficit spending and the intellectual deficit of politicians

Many factors contribute to the refugee drama that is taking place on our doorsteps at this very moment. In Germany, reactions initially proved to be generous and tolerant. Now, things are unfortunately evolving in the direction that we feared from the very beginning. This is not surprising. A couple of years ago, the country had no problem with someone like Thilo Sarrazin, who readily found a tribune to spread a crude and xenophobic message. Entrenched attitudes and strong sentiments do not dissipate overnight. It is simply not realistic to expect that Germany will betray its nature and accommodate one million people without protest here and there.

There is no denying that an influx of such an order of magnitude creates immediate practical problems for people and authorities, especially the case at the level of municipalities. Local governments simply lack the necessary financial means, the personnel and the infrastructure to accommodate so many people in such a short time. Understandably, the situation sometimes leads to excessive demands and interpersonal tensions, sometimes explosive. The German media report such local conflicts, using evocative headlines, day after day, suggesting that the refugees are troublemakers. This shows how widespread the subliminal xenophobia is in reality. [...]

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