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Monday 28 September 2020
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Migrant crisis, Germany moves to cut asylum claims

Migrant crisis, Germany moves to cut asylum claims

Germany has unveiled plans to add Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia to its list of safe countries, as it tries to curb growing numbers of migrants. Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said nationals from those countries would now be unlikely to be granted asylum. The move is part of new measures aimed at tightening rules in a country which last year received more than 1.1 million asylum seekers. The migrants died near the island of Samos, near Turkey. Ten of the victims were children.

In other developments:

  • Six bodies were discovered by the Italian navy in a sinking dinghy off the Libyan coast
  • The Netherlands proposed sending migrants reaching Greece back to Turkey by ferry
  • Sweden said as many as 80,000 people who arrived to the country last year could fail in their requests for asylum and face deportation

Where Europe is failing on migrants

  • The 28 member states have not agreed on an EU-wide mechanism for relocating migrants, to ease the burden on Greece and Italy; only small groups have been relocated so far – and several states in Central and Eastern Europe refuse to accept migrants
  • The Schengen agreement on freedom of movement is in jeopardy – Hungary fenced off its borders with Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia; meanwhile Germany, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and France have also reimposed border controls
  • The Dublin regulation, under which refugees are required to claim asylum in the member state in which they first arrive, is not working effectively; countries are no longer sending back migrants to their first point of entry to the EU
  • Thousands of migrants – many of them Syrian war refugees – still arrive daily from Turkey
  • Processing of asylum applications is slow and there is a big backlog – so reception centres are overcrowded
  • Germany – the main destination for migrants – is rethinking its open-door policy, partly because of outrage over assaults on women in Cologne at New Year(BBC News, 2016)

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