By Monika Müller-Kroll and Kate Brady
A number of German politicians renewed pressure on Interior Minister Horst Seehofer to take in refugees, after a fire this week destroyed the Moria refugee camp on the Greek Island of Lesbos.
Green Party co-leader Annalena Baerbock told Funke Media Group Wednesday that Germany has to act. She also emphasized the willingness of some federal states to take in refugees, including Berlin, Thuringia and North-Rhine Westphalia.
The Berlin Senate announced that they have the capacity to accommodate 300 people. Berlin Mayor Michael Müller said in a press statement that it’s a humanitarian catastrophe nobody can turn a blind eye to.
The Moira camp was officially built for around 2,800 people, but almost 13,000 refugees lived there. The cause of the fire is still unknown.
A German court ruled Wednesday that former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn must stand trial in connection with the “Dieselgate” scandal.
The Braunschweig regional court said in a statement that there was “an overwhelming possibility of conviction” of the 73-year-old for commercial and organized fraud.
The ruling comes five years after VW’s diesel emission scandal rocked Germany’s auto industry. In 2015, it was revealed that VW had installed devices in 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide to make them seem less polluting.
Winterkorn will stand trial with four other former colleagues. It’s not clear when court proceedings will begin.
Protest organizer Alexander Ostermeier said that after six months of a standstill in their industry, they need an open dialogue with the government to figure out a rescue plan.
Berlin police reported that demonstrators obeyed pandemic hygiene laws.
This news is brought to you in cooperation with Berliner Rundfunk.