• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Take back migrants or lose aid cash, Berlin tells North Africa
Germany’s Vice-Chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel. Photo: DPA

Take back migrants or lose aid cash, Berlin tells North Africa

The Local · 18 Jan 2016, 11:34

Published: 18 Jan 2016 11:34 GMT+01:00

“Germany is more than willing to give economic aid to North Africa, but only when the governments there reciprocate by allowing people whose asylum applications have been rejected to travel back into the country,” Gabriel, leader of the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), told public broadcaster ARD.

The question of what to do with North African migrants seeking asylum in Germany has shot into public focus after mass sexual assaults over New Year in Cologne were described as being carried out by “men of North African appearance.”

Prosecutors in the western cathedral city are currently investigating 13 men in connection with the crimes, all of whom come from North Africa.

The German government has in recent weeks flagged problems in expelling Algerians and Moroccans, saying their countries of origin were often unwilling to take them back because of missing identity documents.

Over the past week German media have been reporting on the high rates of criminality among North African migrants, particularly in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Since the summer the number of people from the Maghreb - a region encompassing Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya - seeking asylum in Germany has swelled.

In August only 1,500 Algerians and Moroccans sought asylum in the Bundesrepublik.

By December that number had risen to 5,300, despite only a very small proportion of asylum applications being granted for people from this region, reports Die Welt.

The conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) are demanding that the government categorize Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia as “safe countries of origin” meaning that new arrivals from those countries would have very little chance of being granted refugee status and would be deported more quickly.

In the summer the Balkan states of Albania, Montenegro and Kosovo were labeled as “safe countries of origin”. This categorization contributed to a sharp fall in asylum applications from those countries in 2015.

Story continues below…

Last week Chancellor Angela Merkel received Algerian prime minister Abdelmalek Sellal in Berlin in an effort to improve cooperation on the issue of deportations.

But Sellal warned that his country would only take deportees if it could be established they were Algerian.

Tunisia has also claimed that some people who have sought asylum in Germany destroy their documentation and pretend to be Tunisian.

With AFP

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Today's headlines
Pegida take to Dresden streets - to march against Pegida
Pegida demonstrators. Photo: DPA

Followers of the xenophobic Pegida movement marched in two factions on Monday evening in the capital of Saxony, brandishing fierce accusations of treason against one another.

Analysis
Is it fair to call the AfD far right?
AfD leaders, from left, Georg Pazderski, Frauke Petry and Jörg Meuthen. Photo: DPA.

The AfD has been dubbed "far-right" over the past year as it has taken on a tougher stance against immigration and made gains in state elections. But at what point does one call a group far-right?

Dresden police guard Islamic buildings after mosque attack
The Dresden mosque that was hit by a homemade bomb attack on Monday. Photo: DPA.

All Islamic buildings in the capital of Saxony have been put under police protection on Tuesday after explosive devices were detonated at a mosque and a congress centre in the city.

Germany blocks WhatsApp data transfers to Facebook
Photo: DPA

German data protection authorities on Tuesday said they had blocked Facebook from collecting subscriber data from its subsidiary WhatsApp, citing privacy concerns.

Stuttgart fest pulls in twice as many boozers as Oktoberfest
Is this Oktoberfest or is this Stuttgart's Cannstatter Volksfest? Can you tell the difference? Well, it's Stuttgart. Photo: DPA.

Apparently Munich is no longer the top place to wear lederhosen and down beer one litre at a time.

The Local List
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Photo: DPA

These films are so good, not even The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari made the list.

Young man destroys 17 cars after visiting Oktoberfest

Early on Monday morning a drunk 29-year-old trashed 17 cars after staggering out of Oktoberfest into the Munich streets. It was one of several eye-popping crimes from "Wiesn" over the past few days.

VW emissions scandal
Audi tech chief leaves after reports link him to 'dieselgate'
Audi's head of technical development Stefan Knirsch stepped down on Monday. Photo: DPA.

Audi's head of technical development stepped down "with immediate effect" on Monday, the luxury carmaker announced, after German media accused him of involvement in parent company Volkswagen's "dieselgate" scandal.

Deutsche Bank shares hit lowest level in quarter century
Photo: DPA.

Shares in Deutsche Bank, Germany's biggest lender, sank to a historic low on Monday after reports at the weekend that Berlin had refused state aid for the embattled lender.

The Local List
The 10 worst German cities for students to find digs
Photo: DPA

It's the start of autumn, which means the start of the university year. But along with the excitement comes the stress of finding housing - and in some glamorous locations this can be a nightmare.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Lifestyle
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
6,621
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd