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Refugees arrive in Frankfurt, Germany
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/F. Rumpenhorst

Germans welcome thousands of new arrivals

September 6, 2015

There were more scenes of warm welcomes in train stations across Germany on Sunday as thousands more refugees and migrants arrived by rail. The country's politicians are due to discuss the financial implications.

https://p.dw.com/p/1GRs2

Most of the refugees and migrants arriving in Germany over the weekend had traveled via Austria from Hungary following an arduous trek after Budapest temporarily halted trains bound for Germany and Austria.

In Munich alone, some 7,000 refugees were registered on Saturday evening, with more than half of them provided with a bed for the night.

Others continued their journey on Sunday, with 570 refugees traveling to Saalfeld in Thuringia. In Saxony's capital of Dresden, army officers had prepared a temporary shelter for 350 newcomers.

More trains also brought refugees to the cities of Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt and Dortmund.

The heartfelt reception of the refugees seen in Munich was echoed throughout the country, with locals welcoming the newcomers with cheers and applause. Hundreds of people were seen handing out food, basic supplies and toys for children.

In Dortmund, however, several far-right groups protested the arrival of refugees overnight into Sunday. Fire services were also called to attend a fire which broke out at a planned refugee home.

Internal criticism for Merkel

As the German public did their best to support the refugees over the weekend, it was the politicians' turn on Sunday to discuss how the government will finance the huge intake of people seeking asylum.

According to a report in the Sunday edition of the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" (FAS), a German newspaper, financial costs for Germany could reach anywhere between 9 and 10.5 billion euros by the end of the year.

Steps taken by German Chancellor Angela Merkel this week to accept refugees stranded in Hungary have already received criticism, however, from the Christian Social Union (CSU) - the Bavarian sister party to her Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

CSU General Secretary Andreas Scheuer deemed the move as the "wrong decision," with several other conservatives also warning of a "suction effect."

Pope urged support from Catholic Church

Speaking on Sunday in the Vatican City, Pope Francis also addressed the refugee crisis, calling on European churches to each take in one refugee family.

"Every parish, religious community, every convent, every pilgrimage site in Europe should take in a family, beginning with my diocese in Rome," the pope urged.

"Faced with the tragedy of tens of thousands of asylum-seekers fleeing death [as] victims of war and hunger who are hoping to start a new life, the gospel calls on us and asks us to be the neighbor of the smallest and the most abandoned, to give them concrete hope," he said, giving the Angelus blessing in Saint Peter's Square in the Vatican City.

ksb/se (Reuters, AFP, AP, dpa)

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