Germany Overwhelmed By Over 300 African Homeless Refugees

Country officials claim that the men and women from Libya, Ghana and Togo had initially sought asylum in Italy, but were given resources to relocate elsewhere.

Posted: 05/30/2013 01:18 PM EDT

More than 300 refugees from Libya, Ghana and Togo have found themselves homeless on the streets of Hamburg, a predicament that angry German officials are blaming on Italy, BBC reports.

"We did not survive the NATO war in Libya to die on the streets of Hamburg," read a scarlet banner at a recent demonstration in the northern German city.

The officials claim that despite European Union rules on asylum, cash and visas were given to the refugees — many of whom arrived in Italy by boat in 2011 — permitting them to travel to other European countries.

Detlef Scheele, the Hamburg senator for social and family welfare issues, told German media: "We're trying to establish currently how the ones whose visas have expired can be sent back to Italy." He argued that the Africans had no right to seek work or social welfare in Germany. "A return trip is the only option," Scheele added.

According to German newspapers, the Hamburg homeless shelters are full. Welfare authorities and church groups are reportedly aiding the homeless African refugees in the meanwhile. 

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(Photo: REUTERS/Thomas Peter)

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