The Latest: Bavarian councilor sends refugee bus to Berlin

AP News
Posted: Jan 14, 2016 9:18 AM
The Latest: Bavarian councilor sends refugee bus to Berlin

BERLIN (AP) — The latest developments amid Europe's immigration crisis. All times local.

3:15 p.m.

A bus carrying 31 Syrian refugees is on the way from southern Germany to Berlin, as a Bavarian district councilor followed up on his pledge to German Chancellor Angela Merkel he'd send refugees her way if his district could no longer provide accommodation for them.

Landshut district councilor Peter Dreier said Thursday he wants to "send a sign that refugee policy cannot continue like this."

The bus is expected to arrive at Merkel's chancellery around 5 p.m. (1600GMT).

Landshut spokesman Elmar Stoettner told The Associated Press all 31 refugees on the bus have received asylum in Germany but were still living in migrant shelters because they were not able to find apartments.

Germany is struggling to provide accommodation for some 1.1 million asylum-seekers who registered here in 2015.


11:25 a.m.

The governor of Germany's North Rhine-Westphalia state has called for better integration of refugees in response to the Cologne attacks.

Asylum-seekers are among the suspects blamed for 581 assaults and thefts so far alleged to have taken place at Cologne's main train station on New Year's Eve.

Governor Hannelore Kraft told the state parliament on Thursday that "after Cologne, we need more, not less, integration" and it would be wrong to lump the vast majority of innocent refugees in with a small number of criminals.

The assaults in Cologne, which include two alleged rapes, have prompted a nationwide debate about Germany's ability to integrate the 1.1 million asylum-seekers who arrived in 2015.

Kraft also called for faster asylum decisions, particularly for those unlikely to get permission to stay.


11:10 a.m.

The organization representing Vienna's physicians has started disciplinary proceedings against a doctor who refuses to treat refugees.

The move comes after Dr. Thomas Unden put up a sign on his office door saying that refugees were not welcome. He told Austrian radio on Thursday that he will not treat "people whose name and origins I don't know."

The Vienna Chamber of Physicians says the general practitioner's stance is unacceptable.