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LIVING IN GERMANY

German town honoured for successfully integrating refugees

The western German town of Altena has been honoured for its contribution towards the integration of immigrants into German society. The prize includes a cash award of 10,000 euros. Speaking to the town’s representatives while awarding the National Prize for Integration in Berlin on Wednesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel said that integration was the most successful where people are able to …

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“Don’t bribe anybody!” Germany’s refugee agency warns asylum-seekers  

Germany’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge or BAMF) has issued a warning to asylum-seekers in the country to beware of dupers who may call them to demand money for a favourable result on their asylum request or to prevent their deportation. “The Federal Office has been informed that persons are being threatened again by …

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Study reveals why eastern Germany is notorious for xenophobia and racist attacks

Eastern Germany is a hotspot for far-right attitudes and racist hate crimes in part because it was long a closed-off communist society with few immigrants, a new study said Thursday (18 May). The government commissioned the paper on why the region, formerly part of the Soviet bloc, has seen a disproportionate number of attacks against foreigners amid Germany’s large migrant …

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German court rules against Cameroonian on welfare support

A German court has sided with state authorities who cut benefits to a Cameroon national after the man refused to help clear bureaucratic hurdles for his deportation. The man’s asylum request was rejected 13 years ago.The migrant should only be provided with “bare necessities” to ensure his survival, the Federal Social Welfare Court (Bundessozialgericht) in Kassel said on Friday (12 …

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Number of potential terrorists in Germany on the rise, report says

A newspaper report citing federal police statistics has indicated the number of potential terrorists in Germany is increasing. More than 600 people are considered capable of carrying out an attack.  According to a report in the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung” newspaper published on Thursday (11 May), the number of people in Germany considered by authorities to be at risk of becoming …

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Germany launches website for asylum-seekers wishing to return home voluntarily

In a bid to increase the number of asylum-seekers choosing to leave Germany voluntarily, the country’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) and the International Organisation for Migration on Thursday (11 May) launched www.returningfromgermany.de, a new online portal providing information for those interested in voluntarily returning to their home country. ReturningFromGermany.de expands on a similar scheme that started in …

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Opinion poll: Germans say No to more refugees

A new study has revealed that a majority of Germans do not approve of their country taking in more asylum seekers. The country took in around 890,000 refugees in 2015.According to a representative survey conducted by the Bertelsmann foundation, 54 per cent of the respondents said Germany had reached the limit as far as accepting asylum seekers was concerned. In …

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Germany to outlaw underage marriages

Germany is working on new rules to ensure that most marriages involving minors are not legally recognised in the country.The draft law aims to protect girls who were married abroad and sought asylum in Germany. It will allow youth welfare workers to take underage brides into care and, if necessary, separate them from their husbands.“Children do not belong at the …

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New in Germany from April: Tougher driving test, new €50 banknote, changes to temporary employment law..

As from 1 April, some changes, ranging from the introduction of a new €50 banknote to additional regulations of temporary work, will enter into effect in Germany. And learners have to prepare for a more difficult driving license test!  —————————- New Restrictions for Temporary Agency Work From 1 April 2017, several changes to the German Law on Temporary Work (Arbeitnehmerüberlassungsgesetz …

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SPD crowns Schulz as candidate for German chancellor

Members of centre-left SPD have confirmed Martin Schulz as the party’s new leader and candidate to challenge Chancellor Angela Merkel in Germany’s federal election in September.Schulz, the former president of the European Parliament, was unanimously chosen by delegates at the party’s congress in Berlin on Sunday.“I want to be the next chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany,” he told …

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Germany: Telephone hotline for asylum-seekers willing to return home launched

The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge or BAMF) has set up telephone counselling service for refugees and asylum-seekers who are willing to voluntarily return to their home countries. The call centre service is offered in English and German. According to the BAMF, asylum-seekers, refugee aid organisations, public institutions and volunteers can use the counselling …

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Parents in Germany told to destroy talking toy ‘My Friend Cayla’

Germany’s Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur), which oversees telecommunications in the country, has recommended the destruction of the Cayla dolls after experts revealed they can be hacked.Researchers say hackers can use an unsecure Bluetooth device embedded in the toy to listen and talk to the child playing with it, posing a potential danger to the child.In the past few weeks, the …

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Rates of serious diseases jump 50 per cent in Berlin

The number of cases of severe diseases in Germany’s capital jumped from 13,418 in 2010 to 20,165 in 2016 the State Office for Health and Social Affairs confirmed to Deutsche Welle on Friday, reports Alistair Walsh.Health department figures published by regional daily “Berliner Morgenpost” and confirmed by the department, showed cases of diseases which doctors are legally obliged to report to …

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New online portal for migrants and refugees in Germany goes live

It’s always easier and more convenient to enjoy a new country when you have a tour guide.You hardly miss your way going around since you are led by an experienced person who knows the nooks and crannies of the place.This is exactly what an association of journalists called “Neue deutsche Medienmacher” (New German Media Professionals) would like to be for …

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Merkel to face German voters on 24 September; federalgovernment sets election date

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government Wednesday [18 January] set 24 September as the date for a general election in which she will seek a fourth term, facing populist headwinds over a record migrant influx.The date, adopted by Merkel’s right-left coalition cabinet, must still be formally approved by President Joachim Gauck.But the decision fires the starting gun for an election campaign …

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‘People’s traitor’ named Germany’s worst word of 2016

A panel of German language experts has chosen “Volksverraeter” (traitor to the people) as the worst word of 2016, saying the term often used by right-wing activists to insult mainstream politicians had Nazi connotations.The six-member jury described the word as a “relic of dictatorships, including that of the Nazis”.“Used as a reproach against politicians, the word is both un-nuanced and …

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Sharp drop in migrant arrivals in Germany

The number of asylum seekers arriving in Germany last year has dropped by two-thirds to about 280,000. Berlin said the decrease signals that measures to reduce migration are working.Some 280,000 migrants arrived in Germany last year, a stark reversal in numbers after the country received nearly 890,000 refugees during the 2015 migration crisis, according to year-end government figures released on …

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