German ministers agree on tougher rules for migrants posing security risk

"It will now be easier to take people into custody for deportation," said Interior Minister, Thomas de Maizière. [Christliches Medienmagazin pro/Flickr]

Germany’s interior and justice ministers, representing the two blocs in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition, agreed on Tuesday (10 January) on tougher measures for asylum seekers whose documents are not in order or who are deemed to pose a security threat.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière and Justice Minister Heiko Maas resolved to tighten the security rules after the Christmas market attack in Berlin in which a failed Tunisian asylum seeker killed 12 people.

“We have agreed on the introduction of mandatory residency, in layman’s terms: stricter domicile requirements for asylum seekers who have been deceptive with their identities,” de Maizière, a member of Merkel’s CDU party, told reporters.

Italy says same gun used in hijack of Berlin market truck, Milan shootout

A gun fired at Milan police by the man suspected of attacking a Christmas market in Berlin last month was the same one used to kill the driver of the truck that ploughed into revellers in the German capital, Italian police said on Wednesday (4 January).

“Secondly, it will now be easier to take people into custody for deportation,” he added after meeting Maas, a member of the Social Democrats – the junior partner in the coalition government.

German investigators identified the Berlin Christmas market attacker as a threat last February, but when officials subsequently met to discuss whether to deport him they determined he posed no acute threat that could be presented in court, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported last week.

The new measures will make it easier for the authorities to electronically tag foreigners deemed a security risk and required to leave Germany but who have not yet left, de Maizière said.

The Christmas market attack has thrown security policy into sharp focus ahead of September’s federal elections. In addition to the tougher rules for failed asylum seekers, de Maizière has proposed restructuring Germany’s security set-up.

Berlin Christmas market attack ‘affects all Europe’

French President François Hollande and European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker sent the German people their sympathies after a truck plowed into a crowded Christmas market in central Berlin yesterday evening (19 December) killing 12 people in what police this morning described as “an attack”.

Earlier on Tuesday, Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said Italy and Greece should if necessary be excluded from Europe’s passport-free Schengen area if they do not fulfil their obligations to exchange data on criminals.

He said people travelling by air or over land should be checked at the borders of those countries if they did not comply. He called for a deadline of the end of this year.

Background

Berlin warns of Paris-style attacks in Germany

According to German media, the goverment has warned that attacks such as those carried out in Paris could happen in Germany. EurActiv Germany reports.

Further Reading