Angela Merkel’s government is now taking the drastic step of confiscating private property to house some of the 2 million refugees allowed to settle in Germany – the largest number of asylum seekers of any country in Europe.
In Hamburg, the Socialist government began seizing commercial properties and turning them into housing units in 2015 when the number of dwellings required to shelter the swarm of refugees from the Middle East and Africa exploded.
But that hasn’t been enough and government officials in the 2nd largest German city have now seized six private tenement houses, renovated them to provide for refugees, and billed the property owner for the costs.
The move was part of a larger scale plan to intimidate other private property owners to rehab their dwellings – or risk government confiscation.
Hamburg’s onerous building codes have been a significant contributor to the problem the city is now facing. Builders refused to rehabilitate or build new homes due to strict regulations and a cap on rents.
The expropriation is authorized by the Hamburg Housing Protection Act (Hamburger Wohnraumschutzgesetz), a 1982 law that was updatedby the city’s Socialist government in May 2013 to enable the city to seize any residential property unit that has been vacant for more than four months, according to InfoWars.com.
On October 1, 2015, the Hamburg Parliament (Hamburgische Bürgerschaft) approved a new law that allows the city to seize vacant commercial real estate (office buildings and land) and use it to house migrants.
City officials said the measure was necessary because, at the time, more than 400 new migrants were arriving in Hamburg each day and all the existing refugee shelters were full. They said that because the owners of vacant real estate refused to make their property available to the city on a voluntary basis, the city should be given the right to take it by force.
The measure was applauded by those on the left of the political spectrum. “We are doing everything we can to ensure that the refugees are not homeless during the coming winter,” said Senator Till Steffen of the Green Party. “For this reason, we need to use vacant commercial properties.”
“The proposed confiscation of private land and buildings is a massive attack on the property rights of the citizens of Hamburg,” said André Trepoll of the center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU). “It amounts to an expropriation by the state.” He said the proposed measure is a “law of intimidation” that amounts to a “political dam-break with far-reaching implications.” He added: “The ends do not justify any and all means.”
Katja Suding, the leader of the Free Democrats (FDP) in Hamburg, said that the proposed law is an “unacceptable crossing of red lines… Such coercive measures will only fuel resentment against refugees.”
Watch for the pot to boil over in Germany as its citizens are displaced by refugees most did not want in the first place. Many are now wondering if owners of larger apartments will be forced to share their homes with strangers from another land.
Does this sound like communism to you?