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Munich has run out of space for refugees, says mayor, as crisis pushes German city to 'the limit'

City might be forced to house refugees in a venue from the 1972 Olympics, says mayor, as he calls on other regions to take in more migrants

Andrew Griffin
Sunday 13 September 2015 15:33 BST
Refugees cheer as they arrive at the main train station in Munich, Germany, 06 September 2015
Refugees cheer as they arrive at the main train station in Munich, Germany, 06 September 2015 (EPA)

Munich has said that it is at its "limit", after the refugee crisis has sent a huge influx of migrants into southern Germany.

After 13,000 people arrived on Saturday alone, the city’s mayor has pled with other regions to take their share of migrants. Munich is at “the upper limit” of its capacity, after the huge influx, according to the police.

Munich, in the south of Germany, has become the main entry point of refugees looking to enter Germany. The city has repeatedly warned that the huge number of people arriving there means that it will be unable to accommodate them.

The city is “1,000 to 5,000” places short of what it needs to be, according to Munich mayor Dieter Reiter. The mayor said that he was upset that he wants to make clear that the city is serious about welcoming migrants, but that the limited resources and space he has mean that is difficult.

The lack of space has led to people sleeping in Munich’s station, some with only a jacket to sleep under, according to the local Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

The city said that it might have to let refugees sleep in the Olympiahalle – the city’s biggest events venue, which was built for the 1972 Olympics. Though the stadium isn’t yet ready, volunteers hope that it can be prepared to open as a temporary shelter if numbers get too high.

Reiter has pled with the federal government and other regions of Germany to take their share of migrants. The Sueddeutsche Zeitung described him “trembling with rage” about the lack of help that his city has received from other areas.

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