Corona crisis: difficult integration (

Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) comes to the integration summit in the Federal Chancellery with Franziska Giffey (SPD, M), Federal Minister for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth.

Photo: Fabrizio Bensch / Reuters-Pool / dpa

Integration summits are now established, for the 12th time on Monday, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) met with more than 130 representatives from migrant associations, religious communities, politics and business – albeit this time only as a video conference due to the corona crisis. This exchange, which has been taking place for 14 years, goes hand in hand with the admission of the conservatives that society is also shaped by immigration. After all, around a quarter of the population now has a migration background.

However, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU), who is responsible for migration issues, was not there. A ministry spokesman said there was no particular reason for this. He was already missing at the summit two years ago; At the time, he did not agree that the journalist Ferda Ataman should attend the meeting. Seehofer disliked a post addressed to him that Ataman had written for the Amadeu Antonio Foundation. Merkel, on the other hand, used the summit for an appeal. She sees social cohesion being put to the test by the corona pandemic, so the integration of immigrants in particular should not be neglected, she said. The crisis will hit everyone, but with different degrees of severity. Given the current restrictions on protection against the coronavirus, it is “certainly not that easy to gain a foothold in our country.” Especially since integration offers and access to education and training are not available to the usual extent, and the economic downturn is having an impact on industries in which many people with a migrant background are active. The Chancellor’s assumption agrees with the results of an OECD study published on Monday. Migrants are particularly affected by the corona pandemic and its economic effects in many countries, including Germany.

According to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, around 100,000 people came to Germany during the corona crisis alone. For them, some important language and integration courses were canceled or could only take place to a limited extent. The integration officer, Annette Widmann-Mauz (CDU), has therefore announced a digital offensive. This involves online integration courses, language training and targeted advice in social networks, especially to support women when they start their careers.

The Chancellor emphasized that face-to-face teaching in daycare centers and schools is important for children from immigrant families in order to learn the German language. Young people should not become losers in the pandemic: »The earlier the immigrants learn the German language, find access to education and training and become familiar with our fundamental values, rights and obligations, the greater the chances of successful integration . ” Comment on page 8


In the new Lesbos camp, the dreams and disillusions of refugees

The catastrophe was expected. When the rains first fell on October 8, the new Kara Tepe camp on the Greek island of Lesbos was flooded. More than 600 people had to be evacuated. In this new camp, without water, sanitation, drainage, battered by rain and wind, the life of the 8,500 asylum seekers – 2,500 have been transferred to the mainland in recent weeks – is worse than that of Moria completely devastated by fire a month ago.

→ LARGE FORMAT. Lesbos: after Moria’s hell, Kara Tepe’s nightmare

Moria, however, was known worldwide as hell. In this immense jungle, many shattered minds had not resisted the harshness of existence and the endless wait for asylum procedures. These hostile lands were fertile ground for violence. But life had also gained the upper hand, with its early fruit stalls, its bread ovens dug in the ground, its hairdressers, its self-managed schools and all its activities.

The energy, endurance, resourcefulness and solidarity of these people command respect. Fatemeh and Farhad, on site, Rouddy and Michel, now settled in Mytilene, the largest town on the island, are a few examples.

► Rouddy, the energy of music

“Refugee, it’s a label, like a tampon that is printed all over your body, but I don’t feel like a refugee inside. ” Rouddy releases an extraordinary energy. “We’re going to get Lesbos moving! “, ignites the former Congolese computer scientist. Every Monday evening, a few musicians come to play on the main square of Mytilene. They are members of RADMusic – for Refugee African Dance -, the group he created last winter, quickly joined by Koko, a compatriot who has toured concerts and festivals throughout Africa.

In the new Lesbos camp, the dreams and disillusions of the refugees

Congolese, Cameroonians, Iranians, Greeks, Germans, etc., have joined RADMusic. After a special coronavirus song, One meter away, the group recorded Freedom – words of Rouddy – thanks to the reception of the Greek association Siniparxi (“coexistence”).

“People are going mad in the camp, over-t-yl. Music reconstructs, it connects people and gives joy. “ She rebuilds him first and foremost. He was refused asylum. He appealed the decision, still pending.

“I was very sick, MSF took care of me, but I just have to think about my family one night and I have a relapse. ” His father, an opponent of Congolese President Kabila, in power from 2001 to 2019, was assassinated. “My family has been destroyed. “ His mother left for the border with Angola. He, the eldest, fled “To seek peace and security”.

For three years he has been in Greece, Rouddy has traveled the country with documents that allow him to move. He taught computer science in Athens for nine months. “In Greece, there is no work, only NGOs can hire us. “ He returned to Lesbos as a Lingala translator for MSF. “People here spat on me. But I also met some good people. “

► Farhad and his 800 kites

« Lhe children cannot even see me anymore, they are not allowed to come to my tent. “ Farhad is heavy-hearted. In the new military camp of Kara Tepe, the lone men were grouped together in tents of one hundred bunk beds surrounded by barbed wire. “We are separated from families; Afghan families on one side, African families on the other, other nationalities elsewhere; and us, the lonely men; it is not good to separate nationalities ”, sighs this Afghan man in his thirties.

The sight of thousands of children – there were more than 3,000 under the age of 12 in the camp before the fire – playing with trash cans had been unbearable to him when he arrived in Lesvos thirteen months ago. “I wanted to help them, to give them hope, so I cut bamboo and made kites with plastic bags. ” Success assured.

→ DEBATE. Migrants: Europe seeks common ground on asylum

Romain, a French volunteer, then comes to his aid to provide him with equipment. The kite activity is gaining momentum quickly. Workshops are organized in the two self-managed schools that existed in the camp, Tolou (“Sunrise”) and Wave of Hope (“wave of hope”). “For the Persian New Year, last March 21, with a thousand children we made 500 kites that flew at the same time! “

Second salvo on August 29, when 300 new kites fly in the sky of Moria and echo the hundred kites launched on the Breton beach of Douarnenez, in support of the children of the camp. Everything was destroyed by the fire. “We no longer have a school, no more equipment. We are waiting for an authorization to have a place to invite the children, but everything is prohibited because of the coronavirus. ” Tormented, Farhad is still awaiting his interview, which has been postponed several times, for his asylum application.

► Fatemeh, school dreams

Boxes of burnt pencils. The carcasses of chairs in bulk. A bed of molten glass jars. The charred remains of a tube of paint. A pile of books reduced to ashes. This charred backdrop is all that remains of the Wave of Hope self-administered school in Camp Moria. “All the guitars burned down. Nothing is left. It’s like my own house is gone. “

In the new Lesbos camp, the dreams and disillusions of refugees

Fatemeh spent his days there. “I felt at home. ” The 18-year-old Afghan girl did everything there. She took care of the reception, cleaning, took German lessons, guitar and painting and sometimes even taught rudiments of English to replace a teacher. “Moria, it was not hell as they say, life was really very difficult, but we had our activities, our distractions. In the new camp, we have nothing left. You know, we’re not doing well at all. “

→ READ. Christian organizations call on EU for solidarity with migrants

Administrative aberration, Fatemeh had, alone, the green light to be transferred to Athens on September 29, after sixteen months spent in Lesbos. But not his mother or his little brother, who nevertheless also obtained asylum (his father is deceased). As for his 22-year-old big brother, he is the subject of a separate procedure as an adult and his case remains pending. Fatemeh suddenly gave up on leaving …

In Moria, she wants to run a new school with other girls. “I love learning so much! I have never been to school. I grew up in Iran where Afghan refugees did not go to school, then when we went to Turkey we were expelled to Afghanistan where I could not go to school either. I have spotted two places in the camp where we could recreate a school, but we need permission. “

► Michel, the African “chef”

“I was well in my country. I had a plot, a car, a salary. I had a good life. “ If he could, Michel would go back to “Congo Kinshasa” (DR-Congo), where he had to abandon his wife and children. “I will find them one day”, he wants to believe.

Michel is the assumed name of this Congolese giant who fears for his life. “I’m afraid of being sued. Poor migrants could be bought for 500 € to kill people. In the Moria camp, there was a lot of violence. At night we couldn’t sleep because of the fights. Men have died for a phone or something. “

In the new Lesbos camp, the dreams and disillusions of refugees

In his country, this television journalist was kidnapped and assaulted for having witnessed scenes he should not have seen. His parents were murdered by a militia. “I have evidence, scars, photos. “ On August 26, 2020, Greece granted him refugee status after eight months in Lesbos. But in the process, she removed the financial aid from him, under a new law. And she has not yet granted him freedom of movement. “I am waiting for permission to leave the island. I will have to wait months more, penniless, to obtain identity documents to leave the country. “

In the meantime, many Africans come to greet him. It is because with his stature, his authority and his charisma, Michel has established himself as a leader. “We Africans are suffering a lot, we need help. So I went to church, knocked on NGO doors. I had this courage, it is not easy. ” Since then, he is the person of trust who acts as a link between the NGOs and the African minority, who distributes food and basic necessities in the camp.


Landmarks: The Lesbos camp

In 2015, 500,000 migrants landed on Lesbos. In 2020 (until September 20), there were 4,337 new arrivals.

End 2019, le camp de Moria had more than 25,000 people.

Before the camp fire, September 9 and 10, 2020, there were 14,000 refugees and asylum seekers in Lesbos, including more than 11,700 in the camp.

→ MAINTENANCE. Fr Maurice Joyeux: “We had to expect the Lesbos camp to end in flames”

Since then, 406 unaccompanied minors have been transferred to Thessaloniki and must be hosted by different states of the European Union.

About 1,400 refugees were also transferred to the mainland September 28 and October 1. Germany has committed to welcoming 1,500, France 500.


Europe seeks common ground on asylum

Fifteen days after the Moria camp fire in Lesbos, Greece, the European Commission ended up proposing, on September 23, a reform of migration policies that had been rejected many times. She defends a “Acceptable compromise” for the 27, very divided on the assistance to be brought to the countries of arrival, in the south of Europe.

→ EDITORIAL. A pact without a vision

Since the migration crisis of 2015, the countries of the Visegrad group (Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia) have refused the relocation of asylum seekers on their territory. The European executive proposes to go back on five European regulations and directives and to overhaul the system on the basis of two “Pillars”.

On the one hand, introduce procedures “More efficient and faster”, including for returns, by means of a “Pre-entry” in the EU which would allow only migrants eligible for asylum to be retained.

The other pillar crowns the principle “Fair sharing of responsibility and solidarity” towards the countries of arrival, by means of “Flexible contributions” which would leave the Member States the choice between accepting asylum seekers, paying financial aid, providing administrative support, etc. This aid would be based on “A voluntary basis” but would become “Strict and necessary” during a crisis, following a particular influx, or rescue operations at sea.


► Should we speed up the return of migrants?

“Yes, provided that fundamental rights are respected”

Sylvie Guillaume, S&D MEP, expert on migration issues

“The question of shortening procedures and speeding up returns is not taboo, because it is not acceptable to leave asylum seekers for years in camps, waiting for a hypothetical answer.

→ READ. NGO boat with 125 migrants on board heads for Marseille

The reform, as I understand it, proposes to link the “asylum” and “return” procedures, whereas they are two procedures, in principle, distinct. People would be placed on their arrival in a sort of waiting zone, a bit like what is done in international airports in France, with a pre-examination of the situations, where only people eligible for asylum would have the right to enter European territory. The others would have a vocation to leave.

This would have the merit of shortening the deadlines, but fundamental rights must still be respected. Will migrants benefit from a suspensive appeal? Where will they be installed? And do we not run the risk of seeing situations of massive administrative detention appear? For the moment, all these points remain unclear. Deportation rates are bad in the European Union, largely because countries of origin do not issue the consular passes necessary on their return.

→ ANALYSIS. Immigration: more migrants locked up, relative efficiency of expulsions

To convince them, the EU intends to balance cooperation and legal immigration, which can work, there have been a few examples that have worked well bilaterally, for example between Spain and Morocco. However, I am afraid of removal measures that do not favor what works best, that is to say, voluntary return assistance, with social and financial support. I doubt that all these questions, which are bound to be debated in the European Parliament, can be resolved very quickly. “

“This is not the key to migration management”

Marie de Somer, researcher specializing in migration at the European Policy Center, in Brussels

“I do not think that we should necessarily speed up returns, because such an acceleration would not go without the risk that asylum requests will not be properly considered. On the other hand, we must, of course, invest more so that the conditions for returns – if they have to be implemented – are the best, the most dignified possible.

→ PORTRAIT. “Carola Rackete”, a scientist who never gives up

In this area, in fact, much remains to be done, both in terms of respect for human rights and of relations with third countries. In these countries, there is a lack of incentives to re-welcome on their soil those who have left. Few agreements are in place. However, often these repatriations weigh heavily on economies, especially in Africa.

Moreover, those who consider returns as the panacea in terms of migration management, who highlight the need to increase the rate – and this is also the case of the European Commission – these often forget how much to return people in their homes can be difficult. Knowing where a migrant comes from, if he has no papers, is sometimes complicated. And we have to be sure that we do not violate international law by returning someone who is entitled to asylum.

It must be accepted that, in certain cases, migrants cannot be “returned” because of purely legal difficulties. It is therefore necessary to have the structural capacities to accommodate them. It is also on this level that we must progress at the international level. When it comes to returns, it is important that the rights of individuals are respected at all times, and that everyone can access asylum procedures safely. This is the condition for this “Human approach” for which the European Commission pleads in its new pact for asylum and migration. “


Does the principle of “compulsory solidarity” have its chances?

“A pragmatic solution that breaks the deadlock”

Fabienne Keller, MEP Renew Europe, rapporteur on the reform of the Dublin regulation

“The European Commission has proposed a pragmatic solution which consists in making “obligatory” the solidarity of all Member States with the countries of first entry if the latter are “under pressure”. She understood that if she proposed a single modality for solidarity, it would offer a blocking subject to the countries of Visegrad. She therefore tried to get around this state of affairs.

→ READ. Germany to welcome 1,553 migrants from Greek islands

I would have preferred more homogeneous solidarity, with Member States all participating in the same way in the effort. But putting a doomed proposition on the table would have made no sense. We must prioritize overall consistency. This proposal is a response to a deadlock that has been visible for years. Because, within the 27, the perception of the subject and the red lines are different. The history of migration, the perception of the issues or the experience is not the same depending on whether you are a country of first entry like Greece or Italy, a country of secondary migration like France or Germany, or a country where there is no migration at all.

Now, a lot of clarification will have to be made: what is meant by “pression” migratory? How can we ensure that asylum applications will be processed in a maximum of twelve weeks? How to best organize the reception areas? The Moria camp fire has shown us that the current situation is intolerable, it is not at all the Europe we want. On the contrary, Europe must be able to make progress on asylum and migration, have a clear mechanism – with predictable rules, on which all the States will have agreed -, organize the relocation of refugees as well as possible and facilitate their integration. This pact proposed by the European Commission seems to me to be a good basis for achieving this. “

“The question of internal solidarity within the EU remains unresolved”

Virginie Guiraudon, research director at CNRS, specialist in migration policies

“The European Commission has put a lot of energy into inventing terminology to satisfy member states with diametrically opposed positions. But the “Compulsory solidarity” in reality translates into great freedom on the part of European capitals hostile to the reception of asylum seekers. Austria or the countries of the Visegrad group may very well choose, in compensation, to put resources into border surveillance, or to contribute to grouped return flights. This proposal definitively buries the reform proposal of 2015, which proposed a distribution key for asylum seekers in the countries of the European Union.

→ READ. For the pope, borders must be “windows” on others

This way of getting around the problem is quite clever, but the Commission has no control over this highly sensitive subject, which has become the political instrument of leaders at national level. The President of the European Commission announced during her State of the Union address on September 16 that she would “abolish” the Dublin Regulation, the keystone of the current system which places the responsibility for the asylum request on the country of arrival. Either, but the notion of “Country of arrival” in the EU remains, so that the issue of internal solidarity, once asylum seekers enter the EU, remains unresolved.

I still see progress in the establishment of a voluntary solidarity mechanism, even if fundamentally it only concerns seven to ten EU countries which have already participated in relocations after the arrival of a rescue boat. This is a reinforced cooperation that will avoid haggling on a case-by-case basis, with survivors waiting at sea while a solution is improvised. I am afraid, on the other hand, that the 12,000 migrants from Lesbos will not get an answer to their situation. The reform could take years to pass. “


Breathless “Dublin regulation”

Signed in 2013, the “Dublin III regulation” places the responsibility for examining an asylum application on the first country of entry into Europe. Each country can ignore this regulation and decide to take care of an asylum seeker.

Regulation crystallizes tensions since the 2015 migration crisis. It exposed its flaws and angered the countries on the front lines, which felt abandoned by

In five years, the number of irregular arrivals in the EU has fallen, to reach 140,000 in 2019. While 90% of migrants in 2015 had refugee status, two-thirds are currently not entitled to international protection.

The number of “dublines” – passed through a first EU country before filing an asylum application in another – has exploded. In France, they were more than 35,000 in 2019, out of 138,000 asylum seekers.


A pact without a vision

The new immigration pact proposed on Wednesday 23 September by the European Commission suffers from one major flaw: it is not visionary. On this complex subject, instrumentalised by the populists and which deeply divides the Member States, the approach aims to be realistic – this is a good thing – but it is also simplistic.

The first objective is a reinforced control of migrants at the external borders and an accelerated selection with a view to the rapid return of those who could not claim the status of asylum seeker.

→ ANALYSIS. Immigration: more migrants locked up, relative efficiency of expulsions

The second is internal to the European Union: the text aims to create a tenuous form of political and financial solidarity between the European States bordering the Mediterranean, on the front line for the reception of migrants, and those of Central Europe who refuse shockingly welcoming refugees from Africa and the Middle East.

A third part outlines a strategy towards third countries to create legal channels of movement and promote the training of young talents. The whole is coherent but minimalist. The protection of the right of asylum and the right of individuals to migration are certainly reaffirmed, but this pact lacks a horizon which gives the measure of the movement of people in the coming decades and which gives ambition to the chosen policies. . The difference is glaring with the climate strategy. In this area, Europe is boldly posing as a world leader in ecological transformation. But on the deeply human stake of welcoming migrants over time, it sticks to a short-termist approach. Opinions, therefore, are not prepared for the changes that lie ahead. And Europe condemns itself to suffer.


125 rooms too few (

Brandenburg women’s shelters are a refuge and advice center for women affected by violence

Photo: dpa / Sophia Kembowski

The Brandenburg police statistics reported almost a quarter more cases of domestic violence for the period between April and July of this year. The authority registered 1840 reports. “That’s a significant number,” said Claudia Sprengel, spokeswoman for the Brandenburg Women’s Political Council and district chairman of the Left Party in Brandenburg an der Havel on Wednesday.

“Domestic violence and violence against women is a problem that you can all do something about.” Sprengel is addressing the members of the social and health committee of the Brandenburg state parliament. The central topic of the meeting is the financing of women’s shelters. These are an important part of the protection of women affected by violence. Above all, however, they are extremely poorly financially endowed, Sprengel calls the various forms of financing a “patchwork quilt”.

Catrin Seeger, member of the board of directors at the Brandenburg Women’s Shelters Association and head of the advisory and crisis center for women in Rathenow, explains this patchwork quilt: “The state allocates a fixed amount to the districts and cities with the stipulation that they have a corresponding offer of help,” she says. The district, in turn, must then seek at least 40 percent co-financing, the rest lies with the sponsors. “All of this as part of voluntary funding,” says the woman on the board. So there is no planning security.

But that runs contrary to the Istanbul Convention of the Council of Europe, which came into force in 2018, on »Preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence«. This provides for more rooms in women’s shelters and more women’s advice centers than Brandenburg currently has.

“We have 286 places in 127 rooms,” says Seeger. “Each affected woman and her children live in one room.” That is 125 rooms too few – the Istanbul Convention provides for one family room for every 100,000 inhabitants.

Seeger reports on the situation in his own house in Rathenow. There are 15 places available in five rooms. The women’s shelter is full with five women, even if they each bring only one or two children. “We are a crisis facility. We really shouldn’t be full, ”says the manager. According to refugee statistics, the Brandenburg women’s shelters were able to take in 511 women and 648 children over 2019, and 519 women had to be turned away. “Either we place them in another women’s shelter, or they go into an insecure future in some family system, where we don’t know to what extent they will receive support there and what will become of their violent situation,” said Seeger. “This is an unbearable situation for us.”

The lack of spatial capacity is only part of the problem. The situation is particularly dramatic with regard to staff and pay. “We also have the counseling area for women who do not want, cannot or do not want to go to a women’s shelter,” said the spokeswoman for the women’s shelter network. “They don’t necessarily need a place in a women’s shelter, they first and foremost need a good lawyer.” This area of ​​advice has grown a lot. Seeger himself advises affected women three times a week, not only in Rathenow, but also in Falkensee. All of this happens in addition to the work in the women’s shelter itself. The free and voluntary consultations did not generate any income to compensate for the increased workload.

“We can’t find any staff under these working conditions,” complains the family therapist. For more than a year they were looking for a new childcare worker in-house, and the position was only recently filled. Another problem is that in addition to the working hours in the house, an on-call service for emergency advice has to be taken over by the employees. “People don’t do that for the meager salary, especially not trained social workers who we actually need.”

Those specializing in migration social work are particularly urgently needed, because of course refugees or other women with a migration background are also accepted into the houses, says Seeger. Need-based care, especially with regard to women traumatized by experiences of violence and flight, can hardly be afforded. The thin infrastructure in rural areas makes it impossible to refer women to psychologists or psychiatrists, according to Seeger. “We’re left alone with everything.”

Seeger calls for a »women’s refuge financing law that covers all these needs and creates planning security«. Fast, unbureaucratic and safe access to women’s shelters and advice must be guaranteed for all those affected. “To stabilize our aid system, we need financing that is flat-rate, reliable and needs-based,” says the social worker.


here’s how it changes. Canceled the rules of Salvini

The Council of Ministers approved the new law on security and immigration. There are many innovations with respect to the measures taken by the former Minister of the Interior. No more millionaire fines to NGOs and the reception system is expanded, introducing the special protection regime. Here comes the daspo for the violent nightlife, after Willy’s death. Up to 7 years in prison for those who facilitate prisoners in 41bis

The Council of Ministers has given the green light to the decree on security and immigration which rewrites the Salvini decrees. During the meeting, the implementation of the draft decree on “immigration, international and complementary protection” was confirmed. Thus, as per the majority agreement reached in July, the rules that exceed the millionaire fines for NGOs and reform the reception system by introducing, among other things, the special protection regime. Here are all the measures.

The standard per the Ong

read also

Security, green light in the CDM for the decree that cancels Salvini’s

The new decree on immigration and security is a marked overcoming of Salvini’s two security decrees which, in contrast with the current provisions, provides for a return to the “reception and integration system”. The text of the new immigration decree intervenes on the sanctions relating to the ban on the transit of ships in the territorial sea. It is envisaged that, in the event that there are reasons of public order and security or of violation of the rules on the smuggling of migrants by sea, the prohibition measure will be adopted, on the proposal of the Minister of the Interior, in agreement with the Minister of Defense and with the Minister of Infrastructure, after informing the Prime Minister. For rescue operations, the prohibition regulations will not apply in the event that there has been communication to the coordination center and the flag State and the instructions of the competent authority for search and rescue at sea are respected. In case of violation of the prohibition, reference is made to the current regulations of the Navigation Code, which provides for imprisonment of up to two years and a fine from 10,000 to 50,000 euros. The administrative penalties introduced previously are therefore eliminated.

A reception and integration system is born

read also

Security, draft dl migrants: stop millionaire fines for NGOs

The decree reforms the reception system intended for applicants for international protection and holders of protection, with the creation of the new “Reception and integration system”. The first aid activities will continue to be carried out in ordinary and extraordinary government centers. Subsequently, the System will be divided into two levels of services: the first dedicated to applicants for international protection, the second to those who already own it, with additional services aimed at integration.

Expanded access to special protection for foreigners

As regards the international protection of foreigners, the current legislation prescribes the prohibition of expulsion and refoulement in the event that repatriation entails the risk of torture for the person concerned. With the new immigration decree, the risk of foreigners being subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment is added to this hypothesis and their expulsion is prohibited even in cases of risk of violation of the right to respect for their private and family life. In such cases, the issue of a residence permit for special protection is envisaged.

The news on the conversion of residence permits into work

Still on the subject of the legal status of foreigners, the new decree on immigration and security also addresses the issue of the convertibility of residence permits issued for other reasons into work permits. To the categories of convertible permits already provided, are added those of special protection, calamity, elective residence, acquisition of citizenship or statelessness, sporting activity, artistic work, religious reasons and assistance to minors.

Close on urban Daspo, fights and web dealing

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Security decree, a “Willy standard” is coming: this is what it provides

There is also an increase in the penalties for the crime of brawling and the daspo from public and entertainment venues for those who have been denounced or convicted of acts of violence outside a club. A “Willy rule” that increases the penalties for those who have participated in a fight, raising the fine from 309 to 2000 euros and imprisonment – if someone is injured or killed in the fight – from a minimum of six months to a maximum of six years (now it goes from three months to five years). For the protagonists of riots or acts of violence the commissioner can order the daspo from specific premises or public establishments: if violated, there is imprisonment of up to two years and a fine of up to 20,000 euros. The so-called “Urban Daspo” is strengthened, making it possible for the Police Commissioner to apply the prohibition of access to public places even against subjects who have reported one or more complaints or a non-definitive conviction, over the last three years the sale or transfer of narcotic or psychotropic substances. Provisions are envisaged to make the exercise of the activities of the National Guarantor for the rights of persons deprived of personal liberty more effective. The blackout mechanism, already used to combat online child pornography, is extended to those sites which, on the basis of objective elements, must be considered used for the commission of drug offenses.

Giving a cell phone to a prisoner becomes a crime


41 bis, what the hard prison regime provides

At the proposal of the Minister of Justice Alfonso Bonafede, the crime is introduced for those who introduce a cell phone to a prisoner in prison: the penalty ranges from 1 to 4 years both for those who introduce it and for those who receive it. In the regime preceding the security decree, the offense took the form of a disciplinary offense sanctioned within the prison. It is explained that 1,761 telephones were found by the penitentiary police in Italian prisons until 30 September last. In practice, 200 per month, over 6 per day. The phenomenon is exponentially growing: in the first nine months of 2019 there were 1,206 and at the end of September 2018 only 394. For those who facilitate the inmate at 41bis in communicating with the outside world (even of a type other than those with mobile phones) the penalty is raised from 1 to 4 years to 2 to 6 years. In cases of aggravated hypothesis (i.e. if the crime is committed by a public official, by a person in charge of a public service or by a person practicing the legal profession) the crime passes from 2 to 6 years to 3-7 years.


There is still a problem with the authorities (

Photo: Boris Roessler / dpa

Nothing is good when it comes to preventing right-wing violence in Hessen. This was shown by the attack carried out by a racist in Hanau on February 9, which killed nine people with a migration history.

Hesse’s Minister of the Interior, Beuth, and the head of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Schäfer, took advantage of the establishment of two special units for investigations in the right-wing scene shortly after the murder of Walter Lübcke on June 2, 2019. In truth, these measures document previous failures. Because Stephan E., who is on trial in the Lübcke case, was considered by the domestic secret service to have “cooled down”. It was journalists and the left-wing parliamentary group in Hesse who proved that E. was an active neo-Nazi in recent times. And the authorities don’t do their job any more. Because in its report for 2019, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, in addition to the neo-fascists already known to it, only recorded those who are assigned to the ethnic “wing” of the AfD and its youth organization. The secret service at the federal level has long known that violent rights are radicalized through informal structures and the Internet. Right-wing networks in the security authorities are also still not mentioned in the report. A scandal, since there are most suspected cases in Hessen.


Thailand as a secret tax haven


The tourism business in Thailand has largely collapsed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

(Photo: AFP)

Bangkok The preferential treatment that Ole Matthiesen enjoys in his adopted country of Thailand begins as soon as he gets off the plane. At the gate he is picked up in a car and chauffeured to a VIP counter at passport control. He then waits in a lounge for airport employees to collect his luggage from the belt.

A limousine takes the entrepreneur to his Bangkok apartment. The amenities are part of a package of services that Thailand offers wealthy foreigners who settle in the Southeast Asian country on a special visa. For Matthiesen, however, the program has another, much more lucrative advantage: almost complete tax exemption.

Tropical dream beaches and comparatively low cost of living have made Thailand a popular destination for emigrants for a long time. What is less well known is that the holiday destination can also be a tax haven from which people with significant capital investments can benefit. In view of the shortage of tourists as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the country’s authorities now want to advertise even more to wealthy immigrants – and are planning new perks for the particularly rich.

Ole Matthiesen, who lived in Hamburg before moving to Thailand, has been part of the so-called Thailand Elite Program for several years. He has not been able to use the friendly reception at the airport for several months due to Corona travel restrictions – but the core of the initiative: a five-year residence permit. This enabled him to move his tax residence from Germany to Thailand – and to make use of the advantages of local tax law.

Matthiesen had to pay a one-time fee of around 13,500 euros for the five-year visa. “For a quasi-completely tax-free existence that is damn cheap,” says the 46-year-old, who now also works with the Thailand elite operators as an independent sales partner.

Matthiesen benefits from the fact that Thailand only taxes income generated abroad, such as investment income and rental income, to a limited extent or, under certain circumstances, not at all.

The regulation makes Thailand a tax haven that is often not noticed as such: Many people would know Thailand primarily as a holiday destination, says German tax advisor Martin Liebenow, who looks after German clients in Bangkok at the auditing and consulting company Mazars. “But most of them do not know that living in Thailand is also associated with many tax advantages.”

Wealthy people can be spared by the tax office

The most important advantage: Of the income that is generated outside of Thailand, only the part that is imported into Thailand has to be taxed. But that only applies if the money is sent to Thailand in the same year in which it was earned.

In contrast, income generated in previous years can be brought to Thailand completely tax-free. This means: Anyone who always has enough savings from previous years to make ends meet without having to fall back on current income will be spared by the tax office.

Matthiesen organized it the same way. Among other things, he earns money selling digital advice products abroad. He no longer has a place of residence in Germany – his center of life is in Thailand. According to the double taxation agreement between the two countries, Germany generally no longer has any right to tax in such cases, explains tax advisor Liebenow.

Only in the case of dividend distributions by German companies to German shareholders would the flat-rate withholding tax apply in this constellation. Moving to Thailand can therefore help to save a lot of money: “Anyone who has the opportunity to live on passive foreign income should consider Thailand as a place of residence in view of these advantages,” advises Liebenow.

Thailand’s authorities have so far avoided aggressively advertising the tax advantages for wealthy foreigners – presumably also in order not to trigger a debate on justice. However, those responsible make it clear that they want to increase their efforts to attract wealthy private individuals to immigration: Yuthasak Supasorn, who, as the head of the TAT tourism authority, is responsible for the Thailand Elite Program, announced new privileges for foreigners who bring a lot of money into the country at the end of September bring.

Anyone who invests at least one million dollars in Thai real estate, for example, should receive a work permit in addition to long-term residence rights – otherwise, working legally in Thailand is often associated with high bureaucratic hurdles for foreigners.

The business with residence permits has increased further in Thailand due to the corona crisis. Foreign privateers who want to spend a large part of their time in the country often used tourist visas in the past, which they renewed through regular entries and exits.

However, this is currently not possible due to largely closed borders. As a result, according to the authorities, there was a run on the Thailand Elite Program, with which multi-year visas can de facto be bought. The number of monthly applications has recently risen by almost 70 percent to 500.

The Thai authorities hope that wealthy foreigners will be able to contribute to an economic recovery with their spending in the country. Because tourism, which is important for Thailand, collapsed in the corona crisis, the country is in the middle of a massive economic crisis. For this year, economists expect the gross domestic product to decline by around eight percent.

Thailand’s richest man, billionaire Dhanin Chearavanont, suggested in May that the country should court more wealthy foreigners – and advertise, among other things, with its successful fight against the corona pandemic: “We have five-star hotels and five -Star hospitals, “he said. “If we can give rich people the feeling that they are safer here than at home, then they will come too.”

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