German locals score a shock victory against plans to house 450 migrants in their city. After a government plan to build a refugee home in Oeventrop in North Rhine-Westphalia collapsed, more than 750 local citizens attending the meeting burst into raucous applause, emphasising the growing German backlash against mass immigration.
The citizens’ meeting on Monday took a sensational turn when the owner of the monastery in the village slated to be turned into a refugee centre for 450 migrants spontaneously withdrew his offer to house the foreigners. The property, which belongs to Christoph Kraas, would have been called the ‘Central Accommodation Facility for Refugees’ (ZUE).
Over 750 locals filled the sports hall in the constituency of Oeventrop, which belongs to the city of Arnsberg. The location is notable as it is where the leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) head, Friedrich Merz, held his last seat before taking up the helm of the party. Outside, the event was broadcast to another additional 150 residents.
Mass cheers erupted when Kraas said he would not allow the government to turn his property into a refugee home. The people of the city had expressed their fears about crime and sexual assaults had the refugee home been built, while local politicians had unsuccessfully tried to tell residents that such fears would not become a reality if the refugee home was built.
The politicians were met with boos, and residents referred to crimes in neighbouring districts where refugee homes were already in place. Crime has soared in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, with the category of ‘murder and manslaughter,’ for example, increasing by 23.4 percent to 380 cases.
The crime data highlights the disproportionate number of crimes committed by migrant offenders without a German passport, which make up approximately 14.2 percent of the NRW population. This group is responsible for 32.1 percent of all attempted murders and murders in NRW, while in the area of manslaughter, they are responsible for 41.9 percent.
Government fails to convince the public
Government representatives resorted to tedious speeches to try to convince the people of Oeventrop that the refugee lair in their area was necessary. After they were done speaking, residents were only allowed an hour to ask questions but not make points or statements (democracy?)
Once it became clear residents were firmly opposed to the home, according to Oeventrop.de, Kraas stated: ‘But one thing is certain, I keep what I promise, without your consent, I will not give my approval for a ZUE (refugee homes).’
While at the podium, Kraas asked the government representatives what would happen if he withdrew his consent, and they said they would continue looking in Arnsberg for a new location. He then spontaneously walked to the microphone, and said simply: ‘I hereby withdraw my offer.’
The entire sports hall then burst into a standing ovation and cheers. The government representatives stood up, put on their coats, and left the event without further discussion.
Across Germany, the issue of housing hundreds of thousands of migrants has become a hot-button topic. For example, in the city of Greifswald, residents voted in a referendum this year against building a container village for refugees. Despite the democratic will of the people, the city’s dictatorial mayor said that they would simply find another location and house the migrants there.
Elderly residents have also been kicked out of nursing homes in various locations across Germany, which has fuelled anti-immigration sentiment. German social housing has also been increasingly dedicated to non-European migrants, with German citizens on social housing lists for years having to take a backseat to new arrivals.
The growing movement against mass immigration has seen the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party soar in the polls, with nearly one in four voters now backing the party.
Capitalizing on the victory in Arnsberg, the AfD parliamentary leader, Alice Weidel, took to X, previously called Twitter, to criticize the CDU party leader Merz, writing: ‘Ironically, in Merz’s homeland Arnsberg the citizens themselves end the disastrous asylum policy of CDU-state government and (traffic light federal regime). Citizen protests work. it’s worth raising your voice! Thank you to all the participants and the insightful entrepreneur!’
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