Showing posts with label Germany. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Germany. Show all posts

December 7, 2018

Do Germans Have Short Memories? Angela Merkel Being Forced Out After Unifying Germany Because of Migrants?

 'Take it or leave it Vladimyr'

I would like to give you this posting from  Katrin Bennhold on The New York Times.  

[Editorial from the blog Publisher]Something so sad is happening in Germany because people are impatient and have short memories not willing to give Merkel anymore time. They gave her time when she was unifying the east to the west and really most experts said at the time that only she could have done such a feat to have all those Germans cultivated by the communism of Stalin in which left them with nothing, still they came and got integrated to the advance Western Germany. The only thing these two classes of Germans had in common was the language and nothing else.  She took them in when everyone was saying it will ruin the economy, it will bring the country down. This can not be done, these are not german anymore. Well, Germany is been the biggest economic force in Europe if not the world since. Germans have been living very well and is not because they are working more or harder but because of their ingenuity. But now there is no more time for Merkel because the migrants are going to being the country down. For Germany to get rid of this Iron Lady who's been the face of economic strengh for 13 years it would be another big mistake by the German population. Adam­čŽŐ

CHEMNITZ, Germany — Two weeks after announcing that she would not seek another term, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany was standing in an old locomotive factory in the eastern city of Chemnitz, the scene of far-right protests this year.
Outside, 2,500 protesters shouted: “Merkel must go!” Inside, 120 people — more polite but scarcely less hostile — had come to challenge the chancellor on her legacy, which on this November afternoon was mostly reduced to one thing: her 2015 decision to welcome more than a million migrants into Germany.
“You said we would manage,” one man said, quoting Ms. Merkel’s now famous mantra back at her. “But we’re not managing.”
As Ms. Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Party gathers this week to choose her successor as party leader — and the likely future chancellor of Germany — the values she embodied through 13 years in power are in danger. Some now ask whether her leadership, in particular on migration and economic austerity, helped plant the seeds of the forces now tearing Europe apart.
Ms. Merkel has pledged to finish out her term, which ends in 2021. But even if she defies the political obituary writers, the time in between is likely to be less than a victory lap for a chancellor who has been the face of stability in Germany and Europe, for better or worse.
“I know my face is polarizing,” Ms. Merkel conceded in Chemnitz. That is true in Athens, Budapest and Rome as well.
Ms. Merkel has been both chancellor of Germany and the leader of Europe. She steered her country and the continent through successive crises as she helped Germany become Europe’s leading power for the first time since two world wars.
No one has shaped the Europe of today more than this vicar’s daughter from the former Communist East who was celebrated as the guardian of the liberal Western order.
Ms. Merkel allowed Germans to be proud again, but on her watch the old demons of nationalism stirred back to life, too. The European Union she fought so hard to preserve is assailed by populist leaders.

A protest against Ms. Merkel last month in Chemnitz, a town that has become a symbol of a Germany wrestling with its identity.CreditFilip Singer/EPA, via Shutterstock

Those contradictions rest at the core of the Merkel legacy. As German chancellor, Ms. Merkel oversaw a golden decade for Europe’s largest economy, which expanded by more than a fifth, pushing unemployment to the lowest levels since the early 1980s.
As the United States was distracted by multiple wars, Britain gambled its future on a referendum to leave the European Union and France failed to reform itself, Ms. Merkel’s Germany was mostly a haven of stability.
But her decision to embrace more than a million asylum seekers unsettled that cozy status quo. Outside Germany, the austerity she and her longtime finance minister Wolfgang Sch├Ąuble imposed on debtor countries like Italy, Spain, Portugal and, especially, Greece sowed misery and resentment that fester to this day.
Some, like the former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, compare Ms. Merkel’s austerity politics to the Treaty of Versailles, which imposed punitive economic measures on Germany after World War I, humiliated the country and fanned the flames of populism.
“This is now what is feeding the political beasts,” Mr. Varoufakis said.
Many of her postwar predecessors had strongly defined legacies. Konrad Adenauer anchored Germany in the West. Willy Brandtreached across the Iron Curtain. Helmut Kohl, her onetime mentor, became synonymous with German unity. Gerhard Schr├Âder paved the way for Germany’s economic success.
Ms. Merkel’s legacy is more fragile.
She gave power a female face, and some say she softened politics and made it easier for her country to resume its historic dominance in Europe. She was careful never to boast about what had been regained. But she also failed to instill in her people a sense of responsibility and solidarity for fellow Europeans.

Her modest and moderate governance style, absent ideology and vanity, is the polar opposite of that of the strongmen now strutting the world stage. Her Germany — that “vulnerable hegemon,” as the intellectual Herfried M├╝nkler calls it — became a beacon of liberalism.

But like her friend and ally President Barack Obama — America’s first black president, who was succeeded by President Trump — Ms. Merkel will be judged by what comes next.

“Angela Merkel personifies the best Germany we’ve ever known,” said Timothy Garton Ash, a professor of European Studies at Oxford University. “She managed Germany’s rise to once again become Europe’s leading power. But she failed to prepare Germans sufficiently for what that means.”

October 15, 2018

Germans Stage A Mass Protest Against Racism and The far Left

Image result for germany protest against racism
 Holding hands against racism

 Protestors from across Germany marched through Berlin on Saturday against racism, xenophobia and the far right in one of the country’s biggest rallies of recent years.  Organizers put the turnout at 242,000 people for the demonstration, which followed anti-immigration protests in several eastern cities over the summer and a rise in support for the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party before a state election on Sunday. nA police spokesman declined to estimate the size of the crowd at the march, which was organized by a broad alliance of associations, labor unions, parties and rights groups including Amnesty International.  Marchers carried placards reading “Build bridges, not walls”, “United against racism” and “We are indivisible - for an open and free society”. Some danced to pop music on a warm autumn day. 
The arrival of more than a million migrants, many from war zones in the Middle East, has boosted support for the AfD. It is expected to fare well in the election in Bavaria, long a stronghold of the conservative Christian Social Union, a member of the Chancellor Angela Merkel’s federal coalition government.  In August, far-right groups in the eastern city of Chemnitz clashed with police and chased people they believed to be foreign after the fatal stabbing of a German man blamed on two migrants. Similar protests took place in Dresden, Koethen and other eastern cities. 
Merkel has accused AfD politicians of using the violent protests to stir up social tensions. 

Slideshow (14 Images)
Nevertheless, the number of violent attacks on refugees and asylum shelters in Germany has fallen sharply in the first half of this year. 
Two companies have also warned their German employees about the dangers of populism before the regional election in Bavaria while the head of the BDI industry association has said the economy could be hurt by a wave of nationalism. 
Reporting by Michael Nienaber; editing by David Stamp

September 19, 2018

German Teenager Arrested For Plotting a Bomb Attack on Gay NightClub

A German teenager has been arrested on suspicion he was planning an Islamic extremist bombing attack in the Frankfurt area, prosecutors said Thursday. 
Frankfurt prosecutors’ spokesman Sinan Akdogan told the Associated Press the 17-year-old was arrested by Hesse state police Sept. 1 and ordered held by a judge on suspicion of preparing a serious act of violence.
The information leading to the arrest, provided by the US, indicated the suspect was planning to attack a gay nightclub in Frankfurt and a Catholic church in the city, according to an official with access to intelligence information, who discussed it on condition of anonymity.
Akdogan would not comment on the target or the source of the information, citing the ongoing investigation. 
At the time of his arrest, the suspect had instructions on how to make explosives and was trying to procure chemicals online, Akdogan said.
It was not clear how advanced the preparations were, but Akdogan said small amounts of chemicals were found during a search of the suspect’s home in Florstadt, northeast of Frankfurt.
The suspect’s name was withheld for privacy reasons and Akdogan said he could not give further details on the planned attack.
Germany has previously had success with American intelligence information helping thwart plots, most notably in 2007 in stopping a plan to bomb the US Air Force’s Ramstein Air Base in southern Germany.
In that case, following a tip from the US, German officials put under surveillance four members of the radical Islamic Jihad Union and covertly replaced the hydrogen peroxide they had collected to use for their bombs with a diluted substitute that could not have been used to produce an explosive.
That allowed them to build a case over time and four men were eventually arrested and convicted of terrorism-related charges.  

July 19, 2018

Lets Laugh! Germany's Far Right Party (KKK) Complaints They Don't Let Them Participate At Germany's Pride

These guys born in outer space and transplanted thru Solar hiccups from the Planet Zynga say Germany's Government, gays should let them be part of these event because of gays preaching inclusion. I think a three-year-old child could explain it to these young adults. What is in the water in Germany and in the Bible belt of the U.S. that makes certain young adults go Trumpie? ­čŽŐAdam

 The youth wing of Germany’s anti-establishment far-right party has complained that the organizers of Berlin Pride blocked it from participating in the LGBT community’s biggest annual celebration.
The Alternative for Germany (AfD) party entered the country's parliament last year with the third largest share of the vote. Its nationalist rhetoric has outraged sections of the German public and drawn criticism from other parties for drafting unpassable legislation to appear like "victims" to their anti-establishment base.
The Junge Alternative has served as the party’s youth wing since 2013 and recently made headlines when the AfD leader Alexander Gauland gave a speech to Junge Alternative activists, in which he said Adolf Hitler was mere “bird shit,” in more than a millennium of otherwise successful German history.
The youth wing is now complaining about the decision to deny it a stall at Berlin’s marquee Pride festivities at the end of July, the Berliner Zeitung newspaper reported.
In a Facebook post, David Eckert, the head of the Berlin chapter of Junge Alternative decried the fact his group was "not welcome" at Berlin’s Christopher Street Day celebrations on July 28, according to a translation by The Local news site.
Eckert, 26, posted what he said was an email exchange between him and the event organizers who turned his request down, telling him that the parade needed a “climate of acceptance,” which included accepting refugees, and besides, his application was too late in the year.
BY      Newsweek
 Revelers take part in the annual Gay Pride parade, also called Christopher Street Day parade (CSD), in Berlin, on July 22, 2017. The youth wing of Germany’s far-right party has complained the organizers of Berlin Pride blocked it from participating in the LGBT community’s biggest annual celebration. FABRIZIO BENSCH/REUTERS

December 20, 2017

Portugal Emerging as Europe's Successful Anti Germany's Economy

 Beautiful, historic Lisbon

Germany’s resolute Chancellor Angela Merkel is not usually one to admit she’s been wrong. But this autumn, when it comes to her faith in austerity economics in Europe, Merkel, together with her then-Finance Minister Wolfgang Scha├╝ble, did as much — in deed, if not in word.

The Germans threw their hefty weight behind the leftist economist M├írio Centeno, Portugal’s finance minister, for the coveted post of head of the Eurogroup, the common currency’s influential 19-member directorate. In January, Centeno, a Harvard-educated Portuguese Socialist Party freethinker, will leave Lisbon’s left-wing government to succeed the incumbent president, Jeroen Dijsselbloem. The Dutchman had been a critical ally of Germany in recent years, taking to task the profligate Southern Europeans — and inadvertently ripping open a contentious divide between Europe’s north and south that persists to today. 

Centeno constitutes a shift in course. Until now, he has represented a Southern European country, Portugal, that received a 78 billion euro ($92 billion) bailout from its fellow European Union member states amid the euro crisis. But even more remarkable, Centeno was part of a leftist government with the backing of a communist party, which subsequently bucked the marching orders of its northern creditors and the troika composed of the European Central Bank, European Commission, and International Monetary Fund.

Whether Centeno’s ascension, with Berlin’s assistance, represents a shift in German economic thinking remains to be seen. Less than two years ago, Scha├╝ble, the eurozone’s fiercest fiscal hawk, warned Portugal that its refusal to follow the rules would sink its economy and force it to seek another international bailout. But, since then, Lisbon’s cautiously renegade deviations have won plaudits even from budget disciplinarians — including Scha├╝ble himself.

Portugal has proven it’s possible for a struggling country to defy German-imposed austerity in the EU and still succeedPortugal has proven it’s possible for a struggling country to defy German-imposed austerity in the EU and still succeed. That’s not to suggest that, just because Centeno has served a leftist Portuguese government, he will pursue radical policy ambitions in Brussels. But, as president of the Eurogroup, he will execute duties in a body that grew immensely in significance over the course of the financial crises and will be paramount in guiding the reform processes that still lie ahead.

The Eurogroup was initially designed as an informal meeting for finance ministers to exchange views, but now it monitors draft national budgets and bailout programs as part of the economic surveillance instituted as a result of the crises. The president is a key figure in eurozone developments even though the body has been starkly criticized as nontransparent and undemocratic, as it is not subject to parliamentary discretion, nor are its minutes public.

Centeno, like the Portuguese government he served, already symbolizes the possibility that a new, less German, ideological era of economic governance is in the offing in Europe. Lisbon is the first Southern European government to climb out of the swamp of indebtedness and stagnation. Its economy is undergoing its fastest expansion in over a decade, and more growth is expected next year, which will shrink the country’s budget deficit to 1 percent of GDP — the slightest in 40 years. Unemployment this year fell to 9.2 percent, down from 17.5 percent in 2013, and exports are picking up. (Nevertheless, Portugal’s national debt is still 128 percent of its current GDP, a sign that it is not entirely out of the woods yet.)

“Mr. Centeno’s appointment is representative of a policy change in the workings of the eurozone,” said Gustav Horn, an economist at the Hans-B├Âckler-Stiftung, a German think tank. “It’s an admission that the hard-line austerity prescriptions and fiscal contraction haven’t worked, which we can see in Greece. Cutting spending and taxes in times of crisis only make things worse. Portugal’s approach was different: first get the economy going, then get the budget right. Merkel has now obviously recognized this.”

Portugal’s path back to the family of healthy European economies wasn’t anywhere in sight when, in 2010, Portugal stumbled into the debt trap and downward spiral that also captured many of its indebted southern European peers. The introduction of the euro 11 years prior had diminished the competitiveness of a country accustomed to tampering with its currency’s value in order to gain favorable trading terms. It also provided Portugal with easy access to almost unlimited credit — which went largely toward property, construction projects, and high-risk financial products. GDP grew. But when the bubble burst and the time to pay came around, Portugal went belly up but when the bubble burst and the time to pay came around, Portugal went belly up like the others, outing a legacy of mismanagement, jiggered accounting, and public sector waste.

To stave off bankruptcy, Portugal signed up for a bailout in 2011. That came with familiar instructions to cut the budget deficit, lower wages, and retirement benefits, reduce public spending, and in general comply with the EU’s fiscal policy conditions. Portugal’s conservative government at the time dutifully instituted tax hikes and salary cuts for public servants, four national holidays were scratched, and many utilities were privatized. Over two years, the country’s education budget was slashed by 23 percent. Predictably, unemployment soared as the economy ground to a halt.

The upshot was that in 2015 a Socialist Party minority government came to power under the veteran social democrat Ant├│nio Costa with the nod of the Portuguese Communist Party, Greens, and independent Marxists in the parliament — a breathtaking novelty. Costa’s administration came into office having witnessed the unsightly defeat of a Greek government lead by the like-minded Syriza party, which had rejected outright the troika’s terms and then capitulated under pressure, facing a bitter choice between either insolvency (and crashing out of the euro) or compliance.

On the campaign trail, Costa, Lisbon’s mayor at the time, spoke vaguely about challenging the austerity regime without undermining the troika’s framework — in contrast to Syriza’s uncompromising stance. In office, Costa’s government appointed Centeno to the finance ministry. Working in Portugal’s central bank and teaching at the University of Lisbon, the 51-year-old labor market specialist hadn’t been in the spotlight until Costa called on him to design the Socialist Party’s economic platform for the 2015 election campaign. In academic circles, he had the reputation of a liberal favoring labor market flexibility. In office, he proved to be a shooting star: 2017 surveys showed him as the Cabinet’s most popular minister, with Portuguese voters obviously crediting him with putting the economy back on its feet.

Centeno was given a mandate to steer economic reforms — and, crucially, to kick-start the economy by bolstering demand.Centeno was given a mandate to steer economic reforms — and, crucially, to kick-start the economy by bolstering demand. “It’s completely wrong to think that a country like Portugal could become more competitive on the basis of Third World competitive factors,” Costa told the Financial Times in January 2016, referring to the Troika-dictated intention to boost productivity by deflating wages. The government stuck largely to the troika’s fiscal terms while reversing pension and salary cuts, stopping privatization of public water and transport companies, and reinstating the holidays. In spite of reprimands from the troika, it bumped up the minimum wage and scuppered the regressive tax hike. Social security was increased for poor families.

Despite the threats and doomsday prophesies from EU officials, the measures rekindled domestic demand and investment in 2016. Growth became steady. A year after assuming office, Costa’s government with a leftist menagerie behind it could flaunt a 13 percent leap in corporate investment. “Portugal has increased public investment, reduced the deficit, slashed unemployment and sustained economic growth,” Guardian columnist Owen Jones wrote earlier this year. “We were told this was impossible and, frankly, delusional.” In September, Portugal regained investment-grade credit status from international rating agencies.

Centeno’s posting to lead the Eurogroup now lines up adroitly with French President Emmanuel Macron’s reform agenda. Macron can most probably count on Centeno as an ally in tying the euro area’s economies more closely together and kick-starting growth on the troubled southern economies with an investment strategy. Greece remains a major concern for the zone, as its economy has not responded positively to the Scha├╝ble-era reforms. The body will certainly discuss easing the measures imposed in Greece during the height of the debt crisis.

For this reason, the Italian daily Il Sole 24 Ore commented: “Centeno’s election can be seen as a turning point.” It will prove all the more so if Centeno, and his anti-austerity reformism, continues to have the backing of Germany — and that will, in turn, be more likely if the next German governing coalition includes the Social Democrats, which seems increasingly likely.

To be sure, no one in Germany is apologizing about the straightjackets they insisted Europe’s debtor's don. But the important thing isn’t whether Merkel goes on the public record crying “mea culpa.” Taking stock of Portugal’s achievement and easing up on the debtor countries — foremost Greece — would be compensation enough.

Portugal is proving what many of us know: "Austerity is meant for the already poor and the working class, for anybody else is getting the money the others are loosing, this is a univeral rule. Having the money to spend and create business' and jobs no one can do it better than people that are working and the poor. From a new refrigerator or bed for the poor to a new car to commute for the working class couple or single working individual. We should ask who is got the money and from whom did they get it? Austerity is mention when those with the money either start loosing it through bad investments or they suffer from the disease of I got it but need to keep it thus I need more"   [Adamfoxie]

October 2, 2017

First Couple To Marry on Germany's New Gay Marriage Law

Karl Kreile (L) kisses Bodo Mende during the first civil wedding ceremony between two men in Berlin, Germany (01 October 2017)Image copyrightEPA
Image captionKarl Kreile (left) and Bodo Mende, from Berlin, have been together for 38 years
Two men have become the first gay couple to marry in Germany, on the day gay marriage became legal there.
Karl Kreile and Bodo Mende, a couple for 38 years, exchanged their vows at the town hall in Sch├Âneberg, Berlin.
Registry offices in several German cities were opening, unusually, on Sunday to allow couples to wed on the first day it was legally possible.
Getting married will give gay couples the same tax advantages and adoption rights as heterosexual couples. 
Germany has allowed same-sex partners to enter into registered partnerships since 2001, but these did not give couples exactly the same status in German law as marriage.
The German parliament voted to introduce marriage equality in June, after Chancellor Angela Merkel unexpectedly dropped her longstanding opposition to parliament holding a vote on the issue.
Karl Kreil and Bodo Mende sit in front of a table with flowers and rainbow flagsImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionKarl Kreil and Bodo Mende exchanged their vows in front of a table festooned with flowers and rainbow flags
BBC Europe

August 20, 2017

Germany: Relations With Turkey Can't Go As Before

 Democrat or Sultan? or How about both?

 Germany issued a travel alert for Turkey on Thursday, citing “heightened danger” after the arrest of a German human rights campaigner in Istanbul and marking the latest in a string of incidents that have pushed tensions between Berlin and Ankara close to breaking point.
Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel voiced scathing criticism of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan at a press conference, saying Ankara had “abandoned the ground of European values” by jailing “innocent visitors to their country on outrageous charges.” Gabriel added he believed that Turkey had also abandoned NATO’s common values.
Gabriel’s comments followed the arrest on July 5 of Peter Steudtner, a human rights activist from Berlin whom Turkish authorities accuse of supporting a terrorist organization. Steudtner was participating in a workshop with Amnesty International in Istanbul when he was taken into custody.
The minister also announced a wider shift in German-Turkish relations, saying the Turkish president had time and again shown he was not interested in engaging in dialogue. “It takes two to tango,” he said, adding “we can’t go on as before.”
Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries struck a similar tone in a statement emailed to POLITICO. “We are experiencing a nadir in German-Turkish economic relations,” she said.
Zypries said that she would “discuss with our European partners how to proceed. This applies to questions of economic aid for Turkey or the further development of the customs union [with the EU].”
Germany has so far trodden softly in its disputes with Ankara, although it remains unclear if Berlin’s approach has achieved its intended goals. Following Turkey’s decision to ban German parliamentarians from visiting an airbase in Incirlik, Germany decided in June to withdraw its troops.
Germany’s stance has been driven, at least in part, by a desire to avoid derailing the refugee deal struck last year with Erdo─čan, under which Turkish authorities stop refugees from traveling into Europe and in return European governments provide funding to the government in Ankara.
“Time and again we showed great patience, when there were accusations which at times are unbearable for German ears” — Sigmar Gabriel
But Gabriel said things had changed. He said the arrest of a German human rights activist proved that “anybody can be affected” by random arrests.
“We therefore have to redefine our policy on Turkey,” said Gabriel, who said this was also the view of Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Social Democrat challenger in September’s parliamentary election, Martin Schulz.
Gabriel said “enhanced alerts” that had so far been in place for certain professions — such as journalists — that could face danger in Turkey would now be extended to all German citizens. The website of the foreign ministry was updated to warn all Germans of possible arrests.
“Persons traveling to Turkey for private or business reasons are advised to be more cautious and to register, even for short stays, on the crisis list of German consulates,” the ministry said.

‘We have been disappointed’
Two additional measures that the German government will now discuss on top of the travel alert, according to Gabriel, are a suspension of credit guarantees for businesses that invest in Turkey, and a possible cutting of EU pre-accession aid promised to Turkey as part of its accession process to the EU.
“One cannot recommend anyone invest in a country where … there are examples of expropriations,” Gabriel said.
The minister, a Social Democrat, also said he personally supported the call of his party leader, Schulz, to freeze negotiations on updating the EU’s customs union with Turkey.
Gabriel suggested that Germany is running out of patience with Turkey. The government had exercised “a lot of patience, even if that was not easy,” when Erdo─čan “accused Germany of behaving like Nazi Germany” because it wanted to avoid “tearing down bridges,” he said.
“Time and again we showed great patience, when there were accusations which at times are unbearable for German ears. We held back and did not pay back in kind. Time and again we counted on the hope that sanity would prevail … Time and again, alas, we have been disappointed. Time and again, the next step of escalation was taken,” Gabriel said, adding that “the developments in Turkey are obvious and one has to call a spade a spade.”
Anyone who had fired judges and jailed journalists, Gabriel said, “apparently wants to turn back the wheel of history and dismantle the … foundations of rule of law and democracy in Turkey.”

The incarceration of the 45-year-old Steudtner added to already tense relations between Germany and Turkey. Gabriel interrupted his vacation on Wednesday to summon Turkey’s ambassador. Ankara hit back, saying Germany’s criticism of Steudtner’s arrest was “a direct interference in matters of Turkey’s judiciary,” according to Reuters.
Last week, Ankara surprised Berlin by banning German lawmakers from visiting German soldiers stationed at the NATO airbase in Konya, central Turkey.
German tabloid Bild, citing unnamed sources in the German foreign ministry, characterized the current tension as Erdo─čan taking German citizens as “hostages” to force Germany to hand over possible supporters of last year’s failed military coup who have asked for political asylum in Germany.
Spiegel Online on Thursday reported Erdo─čan had offered to release German-Turkish journalist Deniz Y├╝cel in exchange for two former Turkish army generals during a visit by Gabriel in June.
Asked about the reports, Gabriel said he had heard about the offer in the press but had not received any calls or letters over the past weeks offering a swap. “I don’t know of an official offer for an exchange,” he said.

August 8, 2017

Germany is Sending LGBT Refugees to the Gallos by Deportation

(Xinhua) -- LGBT refugees are being deported by German authorities despite facing serious threats to their lives in their country of origin, Politico reported on Monday.
While there are no official statistics for the number of LGBT asylum seekers who have been ordered to leave Germany, Politico cited human rights groups which claim that up to 50 percent of their clients' applications have been rejected.
A spokesperson for the Federal Ministry for Migration and Refugees (BaMF) responded by saying that each case was reviewed individual and considered "if the asylum seeker can credibly show that they would be in danger because of their sexual orientation in their country of origin."
Germany only considers a small number of countries of origin, limited mainly to EU member states, the Western Balkans, Ghana and Senegal, as safe, but has also declined applications from migrants from other countries, according to lawyers and human rights groups.
Politico cited the case of a transgender person living in Germany since 2015 who now faces being deported to Lebanon despite having already been physically assaulted there because of her sexual orientation before emigrating. Only 12 percent of refugees from Lebanon were granted asylum in Germany in 2017, BaMF statistics show.
Asylum seekers from countries such as Morocco, Pakistan, Russia and Tunisia who are gay or trans, frequently complain that the German government's classification is inaccurate and that they would experience institutional or violent persecution in their home countries.
In Tunisia, for example, same-sex relations are punishable with a prison sentence of up to three years.

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