Klingbeil expects migration debate ‘without shouting’ at party conference

BERLIN (dpa-AFX) – SPD leader Lars Klingbeil expects a controversial debate on the issue of migration at the upcoming party conference of the largest government party – but “without shouting”. “There are sometimes uncomfortable questions that you have to face,” said Klingbeil in an interview with the German Press Agency. This includes the question of whether the state is functioning both in integrating migrants and in returning people without the right to remain in Germany. “I think it can be done without shouting. It can be done with good arguments.”

The federal government’s migration policy has caused some resentment on the left wing of the SPD, which was particularly sparked by a sentence from the Chancellor’s “Spiegel” interview: “We finally have to deport those who have no right to come on a large scale to stay in Germany.” The leadership of the Jusos criticized this as a demand “straight from the vocabulary of the right-wing mob.” At the federal congress of the SPD youth association, which makes up almost a quarter of the members of the Bundestag, there was massive criticism of the traffic light government’s migration course in November.

On Friday, the SPD will meet in Berlin for three days for its first party conference in two years. Klingbeil and Saskia Esken are standing for re-election as the party’s dual leadership. The SPD also wants to adopt, among other things, a program to modernize Germany.

Klingbeil said that the topic of migration would also be given space at the party conference. “I am quite sure that social democracy is charting a path that shows that both are possible: humanity and order.” A lot is currently being changed in migration policy to make Germany an attractive immigration country for skilled workers. On the other hand, migration must be controlled more closely. “We are taking tough action against criminal smugglers and accelerating the return procedures. We are letting refugees who have the prospect of staying here enter the labor market more quickly because work is an important key to integration. It all goes together.”

Klingbeil emphasized that it was clear to him that the SPD stood for a “migration policy free of resentment.” “And there will be a large majority for this course at the federal party conference.” Regarding the Chancellor’s statement in the “Spiegel”, he only said: “The SPD’s migration policy does not completely fit on the cover of a news magazine. The Chancellor said much, much more than this one sentence that was printed on the cover of the “Spiegel”. .” He stands behind this interview by the Chancellor.

At the same time, the SPD leader warned against seeing migration as a threat to society. “I think that’s wrong. Everywhere I go, especially in companies, we see the glaring problem of a shortage of skilled workers.” In the end, this problem will not be solved without immigration. “And if we don’t create a culture so that people we urgently need are happy to come to Germany, then it won’t remain a strong country.” The legal basis is now there. “But the social climate and the welcoming culture are still a long way off.”/mfi/tam/DP/he