Germany initiates stricter asylum rules

  • 29/01/2016
Asylum seekers in Germany (Getty file)
Asylum seekers in Germany (Getty file)

Germany's governing coalition has reached a deal to end prolonged squabbling over measures to streamline its handling of the migrant influx, a result that means some Syrians may face a longer wait to bring relatives to Germany.

Thursday's agreement foresees that refugees who don't face "immediate personal persecution" won't be allowed to bring relatives to join them for two years, Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said after meeting Chancellor Angela Merkel and Bavaria's governor, Horst Seehofer.

The coalition also plans to declare Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia safe countries of origin, Gabriel said, making it easier to send migrants back to those countries.

Germany did the same last year for several Balkan nations whose citizens are barely ever granted asylum.

The package of measures, which was first tentatively agreed in early November, also foresees using special centres to quickly progress migrants who have little realistic chance of winning asylum.

It has been held up since then as Merkel's and Seehofer's conservative parties squabbled with Gabriel's centre-left Social Democrats over who should initially be blocked from bringing relatives to Germany.

The deal still needs Cabinet and parliamentary approval.