Asylum Legislation becomes a Campaign Topic (July 2, 1998)
Petra Münzel, a delegate in the Bavarian state parliament [Landtag], holds the poster that the Green Party used to launch its Bavarian state election campaign in 1998. It reads: “Beckstein would even deport Jesus.” In Bavaria, immigration and asylum policy had become an emotional election issue, not least because of the “Mehmet Case.” In 1998, a 14-year-old Turkish boy from Munich was sentenced to juvenile detention on account of numerous offenses; in the end, however, he was deported at the instigation of the city. It was the first time that a child of foreigners lawfully residing in Germany was deported, on this own, to his parents’ country of origin. In its own Bavarian election campaign, the CSU advocated a stricter approach to foreign offenders and asylum fraud. In response, the Greens accused the CSU of using “bar-room clichés” to snag votes on the right. They also accused Bavarian Interior Minister Günther Beckstein (CSU) of stirring up xenophobia with his tough policy on refugees and asylum seekers. During the parliamentary elections on September 13, 1998, the Greens garnered 5.68% of the vote and thus achieved their hoped for re-entry into the Landtag; the CSU held onto its absolute majority with 52.91% of the vote. Photo: Frank Mächler.
picture-alliance / dpa
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