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German right-wing protesters rally against planned refugee housing

Police say hundreds of right-wing protesters rallied in Gera on Saturday against plans for a refugee accommodation on the site of a former hospital.

Published December 09,2023
Hundreds of right-wing protesters rallied on Saturday in the eastern German city of Gera against plans for a refugee accommodation on the grounds of a former hospital, police said.

More than 70 vehicles with about 150 occupants also drove through the city in a procession to protest the the plans to house refugees at the former Wismut Hospital, according to a count by local police.

Around 60 people took part in a counter-demonstration calling for solidarity with migrants and demanding they be treated with dignity.

To relieve the overcrowded reception centre in Suhl, a city to the west of Gera, the state government of Thuringia decided to create space for 200 refugees in the former hospital.

The former hospital had already served as accommodation for asylum seekers between 2015 and 2017.

In the run-up to the demonstration, Gera's mayor Julian Vonarb said that the heated debate surrounding the refugee housing was causing him a stomach ache.