Germany moves to toughen asylum rules
The German government has approved new measures to cope with a record surge in asylum seekers, including imposing tougher conditions for migrants from the Balkans.
Berlin added Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro to a list of so-called safe origin countries, which will result in swifter deportations for asylum seekers from those states.
The Government is also seeking to reduce payouts to asylum seekers. Preference would be to distribute benefits in kind to refugees rather than in cash.
Those with a good chance of winning asylum should also be given integration classes, according to the new measures which will be debated in parliament from Thursday before, pending approval, entering into force on November 1.
But aid organisations have challenged some of the steps, arguing that they constitute human rights violations.
Amnesty International's secretary general in Germany, Selmin Caliskan, warned that asylum seekers from safe origin countries may not be given a fair assessment of their claims.
Germany expects up to one million asylum seekers this year, five times the number seen in 2014.