Trump insists crime is rising in Germany, questioning official data

US President Donald Trump doubled down on Tuesday on the false assertion that immigration is driving up crime in Germany, casting doubt on the country's official statistics.

Trump insists crime is rising in Germany, questioning official data
Donald Trump speaking in Washington on Monday. Photo: DPA

“Crime in Germany is up 10% plus (officials do not want to report these crimes) since migrants were accepted,” Trump tweeted, a day after he claimed German people were “turning against their leadership” over immigration.

“Be smart America!” said the president, who is under mounting pressure to end the separation of immigrant families on the southern US border.

While several high-profile crimes by migrants have fuelled public anger in Germany, which has admitted more than one million asylum seekers since 2015, the country's crime rate is at its lowest since 1992, according to official figures released last month.

Data from the German interior ministry does indicate that the proportion of crimes committed by foreigners has gone up in the past five years, but this cannot be attributed specifically to migrant arrivals.

On Monday, Trump tweeted that crime in Germany “is way up” as he assailed what he called a “big mistake” by Europe “in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture!”

Trump's intrusive comments have poured fuel on the fire as hardliners in German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative bloc gave her an ultimatum to tighten asylum rules or risk a political crisis that would rattle Europe.

The US president himself faces intensifying pressure to end migrant family separations, which are occurring as a result of a “zero tolerance” policy requiring the arrest and prosecution of anyone who crosses the border illegally.

More than 2,300 children have been taken from their parents since early May, a practice loudly decried by rights groups and US politicians from both main parties.

Trump has said he wants family separations to end, but has sought to pin blame on opposition Democrats, accusing them of blocking legislation on the broader issue of illegal immigration.

He once more defended the administration's stance on Tuesday, tweeting: “We must always arrest people coming into our Country illegally.”

“If you don't have Borders, you don't have a Country!”

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German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.