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05/12/2016

German air force to help deport asylum seekers

Justice & Home Affairs

German air force to help deport asylum seekers

Transall transport aircraft will be used to deport unsuccessful asylum seekers.

[Gaspar Torriero/Flickr]

The German government has agreed upon a faster deportation system, using military support, for refugees whose asylum requests are rejected. EurActiv Germany reports.

Berlin intends to implement its plan with support from military transport aircraft and pilots from the German air force. The much-debated transit zones are also in the pipeline, as well as the removal of a moratorium on winter deportations.

According to Bild, the German government has agreed upon and adopted a package of measures that is intended to speed up asylum procedures, which include the initial examination of an applicant’s request and subsequent deportation if the application is not successful.

>>Read: EU-plans to deal with refugee crisis about to fail

The newspaper report, which cites government and regional sources, claims that Berlin plans to use scheduled flights, as well as military transport aircraft and air force pilots, to return unsuccessful asylum seekers to their point of origin. In addition, the acceptance criteria for applications are to be examined.

The German Chancellery informed regional leaders about the plan in a conference call on Tuesday (20 October), according to the same report. The responsibility for deportation lies primarily with Germany’s regions.

Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) had recently called for tighter asylum legislation and a faster process for dealing with unsuccessful asylum seekers.

>>Read: ‘No taboos’ when it comes to refugee policy debate

The refugee crisis has dominated German politics over the last few weeks, and has tested Merkel’s leadership abilities to near-breaking point.