Following weeks of infighting, Germany’s ruling coalition has come to an agreement on how to speed up the asylum process.
Party leaders have been struggling with the biggest migrant influx in decades. They have now decided to set up five centres to hold and assess people from countries considered safe; those barred from re-entry into Germany; and those who refuse to cooperate. The measures are expected to culminate in deportation for the most part.
Two of the centres will be in Bavaria, which is bearing the brunt of the migrant flow. Regional president and CSU Party leader Horst Seehofer outlined the new process.
“At the centres, decisions will be made in a short period of time: administrative proceedings within one week, legal proceedings within two weeks,” he said.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has advocated an open-door refugee policy, which has been criticised by the sister party of her conservatives, and other Germans demanding a tougher stance.
After the deal was announced, she said:
“Our main point and goal is the integration of those with a perspective to stay in Germany. Within the integration process, we want to bring our values and legal system closer to the refugees. We want to show that Germany is an open country that we are proud of and which has a good reputation in the world.”
Figures released this week state Germany received 181,000 migrant arrivals in October alone and the number of asylum seekers seems set to reach one million by the end of the year.
If this proves to be the case, it would smash previous predictions of 800,000. So far in 2015 (January to the end of October) 758,000 migrants have crossed into Germany.