The polemic on the reception of refugees in Germany re-starts after the knife attack on Friday in a shopping street in Hamburg by a rejected asylum seeker, an act characterized as an attack by the local authorities.
The death toll was a 50-year-old man stabbed in a supermarket, and six wounded, five men and a woman, some seriously.
While the police and the interior minister of the Hanseatic city-state must take stock of the attacker’s specific investigation and motives at a press conference at 12.00 (10.00am GMT), the political damage Already visible.
The mayor of Hamburg, Olaf Scholz, revealed indeed that the author of what he denounced as a “heinous attack” was an asylum-seeker who had been rejected. But who could not be taken back to the border for lack of proper documents?
“What makes me even angrier is that the author is obviously someone who sought refuge in Germany and who hijacked his hatred against us,” he said Friday night.
“This is obviously a foreigner in the process of leaving but could not be expelled because he did not have identity documents,” he said. Politically, this point is very delicate for the German authorities.
If it is confirmed that the attack with the knife is an attack with Islamist motivation, the link will inevitably be made with the previous act of this type, the attack on the ram truck against the Christmas market in Berlin in December (12 dead ).
It was committed by a Tunisian, Anis Amri, who was in an identical legal position: an asylum seeker who had been dismissed, but he was still in Germany because he had no papers. Tunisia, for several months, had not recognized that he was one of its nationals.
The German government has since tightened the rules, facilitating the evictions of migrants considered dangerous by the police and strengthening their surveillance.
The mayor of Hamburg has now demanded a new round of screw. “This shows how urgently it is urgent that this kind of practical and legal obstacles to evictions be lifted,” he said.
The debate over migrants, which has poisoned Angela Merkel for months following her controversial decision to open the country’s doors to refugees in 2015, is likely to re-emerge, so the conservative chancellor thought she would be rid of her on the eve of the elections Of 24 September.
In the last few months, the number of migrants has risen sharply in the polls, as the issue of migrants has returned to public opinion, following the arrival of more than one million of them in 2015 and 2016.
It’s Christian Democratic Party (CDU / CSU) leads the polls at 40%, far ahead of the Social Democrats.
The German nationalist right of the AfD, which has denounced the arrival of Muslim migrants in the country, has fallen into the breach after Hamburg has been losing ground for months.
One of its leaders, Beatrix von Storch, considered the attack “linked to Islam”. “At last try to understand,” she twitted to Angela Merkel.
The author of the Hamburg aggression is a 26-year-old man from the United Arab Emirates. He lived in a home of migrants from Hamburg, which was raided on Friday night by the police.
According to the German media, he was known to the authorities for his links with the Islamist circles. But some also point out that he suffered from psychological problems and was drugged. This leaves areas of shadow on its motivations.
Police have so far said to investigate “in all directions”.