Less willingness to help refugees

Less willingness to help refugees

Cologne's Lord Mayor Henriette Reker sees… © Federico Gambarini

Less willingness to help refugees

…less willingness to help refugees after New Year's Eve © Maja Hitij

Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker has observed a reduced willingness to support refugees since the attacks on women on New Year's Eve.

The people in Cologne, who brought with them a great willingness to integrate, are now in many cases doubtful "whether they want to stick to the path," she said at a symposium at Bellevue Palace in Berlin. Reker called at the same time not to be too impressed by the incidents.

New Year's Eve changed many things

The mayor said at the event at the president's official residence that one senses stronger reservations. When it comes to setting up refugee accommodations, the mood has become better and better in the past year, he said. The New Year's Eve changed that. Many more people "who may not have said anything before" dared to reveal fears, Reker said.

However, Reker said she resisted differentiating the refugee debate into "before Cologne and after Cologne": "I won't let that stand."The incidents on New Year's Eve are first of all about criminality, not about status ies". "Only a North African appearance does not indicate the residence permit," she said.

On New Year's Eve, hundreds of men had harassed women in front of the main train station and in some cases stolen from them. It later emerged that it was mainly men from North African countries who had committed the attacks. The incidents had sparked a debate about the readiness of asylum seekers to integrate and their image of women.

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