Germany Welcomed Thousands Of Refugees Over The Weekend And Boy, Was Everyone Excited

This is how it's done, Australia.

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Moved to action by the worsening state of the refugee crisis and international public outcry after the death of Aylan Kurdi, Germany have really outdone themselves this weekend. Though they were already far and away the most accepting nation of Syrian asylum seekers in particular, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has more recently cancelled all planned deportations of Syrians announced the nation would provide refuge to all in need.

“The right to political asylum has no limits on the number of asylum seekers,” she said. “As a strong, economically healthy country we have the strength to do what is necessary.”

Inspired by the news, tens of thousands came across the nation’s borders over the weekend and were welcomed with open arms. Though no definitive numbers are yet known, federal police estimated that around 8,000 people arrived in Germany on Saturday, with at least a couple of thousand more the following day. In just two days, this is around one-tenth of the total number the nation accepted in 2014, and they are now expected to process an enormous 800,000 asylum applications in the year ahead.

Remarkably, despite the enormous strain this threatens to pose on the region, the vast majority of locals seem ridiculously upbeat.

Though Austria are now threatening to close their borders, a large group of citizens are operating a convoy system to drive people to safety and maintain they’ll continue it in defiance of any policy change their government adopts. In his Sunday address, Pope Francis has urged every religious community in Europe to each house a refugee family, and Finland’s Prime Minister Juha Sipilia has taken the duty upon himself. Asking the international community to “take a look in the mirror and ask how we can help”, he’s offered up his own home to refugees. And, inspired by his actions, the challenge has now been taken up by a number of others, with leading politicians from the UK and Scotland also pledging their homes.

But none of this is quite as heartening as the reaction of the German people. With thousands of tired and relieved refugees arriving at their train stations, hundreds of locals turned out as welcome parties to cheer, applaud, and hand out food and water.

Here’s the scene in Munich:

Here’s what it looked like in Frankfurt:

And here’s a video of a tiny German girl handing a bag of lollies to some young refugees and getting repaid in kisses, oh god:

Meanwhile in Australia, Tony Abbott has also pledged to increase our intake of asylum seekers; from 13,750 to 18,750 by 2018. Both he and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton are on their way to Geneva to speak with the United Nations about what more we can do.

“Australia, as always, will step up to the plate,” the Prime Minister said in a press conference yesterday. Considering one of the last times we spoke with the UN included them condemning us for torture, I’m not sure they’ll see it the same way.