‘Communal Solidarity’: German, 74, Must Vacate Flat to Let Migrants In - Report

© AFP 2022 / Christof StacheMigrants arrive at the first registration point for asylum seekers in Erding near Munich, southern Germany, on November 15, 2016
Migrants arrive at the first registration point for asylum seekers in Erding near Munich, southern Germany, on November 15, 2016 - Sputnik International
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A 74-old senior social worker who helped with Germany’s migrant influx in 2015 must move out of the flat he has lived in for 24 years. A 1990s court ruling allows German municipalities to evict tenants to accommodate refugees if other options are exhausted.

Klaus Roth, a 74-year German national living in the municipality of Neckartailfingen, approximately 20 kilometers south of Stuttgart, must vacate the 150-square-meter apartment he has lived in for 24 years to accommodate Middle Eastern migrants, municipal authorities say, according to the Junge Freiheit newspaper.

Esslingen County has been assigned six new immigrants, in addition to 40 migrants already accommodated in the village.

The local council has reportedly decided to house the migrants in Roth's flat, Mayor Gerhard Gertitschke said in an interview for Nürtinger Zeitung. In order to allow that, Roth must move to an apartment half as big, the report says.

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The senior German reportedly does not understand the municipality's demands.

"I put a lot of money and work into the apartment. I renovated it from scratch all by myself," he told Zeitung. Roth also has trouble moving after two intervertebral disc surgeries, the report says.

A ruling by the Göttingen District Court from the early 1990s says a municipality can terminate a rent deal with a tenant in order to accommodate refugees if other options are exhausted. Roth rents the apartment from the municipality, the report says.

"We're under pressure to take more refugees," the mayor says. "There is no longer any way to say that we are not accommodating them."

The municipality offered Roth the assistance of local workers to help with the move, he said.

Despite his age, Roth still works as a driver at a local nursing association and helps look after other elderly people. Roth was actively involved in Working Group Asyl, helping migrants find accommodation when the migrant crisis broke out in 2015, with hundreds of thousands of migrants flocking to Germany.

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The district council spokesman refused to provide a comment on Roth's case for Junge Freiheit.

"The equal distribution of refugees among municipalities into follow-up accommodation is a legal requirement," the spokesman told the newspaper.

"According to the principle of communal solidarity, the allocations are made according to the number of inhabitants." Around 1,430 asylum seekers are currently housed in Esslingen County, he said.

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