The sports facility was due to house about 100 refugees from early next month.
“I condemn in the strongest possible terms the violent outbursts”, Merkel said.
Gabriel, who is also Germany’s Vice Chancellor, denounced the antirefugee demonstrations after far-right protesters attacked police, who were escorting asylum seekers to a local shelter over the weekend.
Last weekend’s clashes with police in Heidenau in which 30 officers were injured, underscores how tense the situation across Germany has become as asylum seekers pour in from war-torn countries.
“There was an aggressive mood against foreigners, which isn’t acceptable in any way”, she noted.
Seibert called it “shameful” to see citizens, even families with children, joining the protests “to back this horrific sentiment”. Attacks against refugees and asylum centers roughly doubled to 202 during the first half of the year, including eight cases of arson.
She also criticized Heidenau residents who apparently stood by as extremists attacked police who were trying to ensure refugees arrived at the shelter safely.
“We’ve got to assume that this is a political act”, said SPD general secretary Yasmin Fahimi. Police ran blood tests on them for alcohol levels. It’s thought the bomb threat against Willy-Brandt-Haus is all part of a campaign of hate and violence.
Germany is now the favoured destination for the many thousands of migrants arriving in the European Union, mainly from the Middle East and Africa. Abdul Munir Rahimi is a migrant from Afghanistan.
A staff member of a private security company walks past the facade of a burnt residential building with the writing on it ‘We say no!’ in Leipzig, Germany, Wednesday August. 26, 2015.
Munir’s journey included a perilous boat ride from Libya to Greece and then making his way northwards on trucks, trains and on foot. Germany’s asylum laws are more or less liberal and hence, it will probably receive the largest number of asylum seekers, around 800,000 people, which would account for one percent of the total existing population.
Hungary’s ruling party plans to submit to Parliament a proposal to deploy the Army to help stem the flow of migrants crossing from Serbia, a senior party figure said on Wednesday.
Germany is is the biggest recipient of migrants heading to Europe.
Other coordinated action sought by Hollande and Merkel includes the rapid setting up of reception centers in Greece and Italy – two countries which have borne the brunt of the crisis – to help identify asylum-seekers and illegal migrants.
But they have failed to come up with an agreement so far.