Germany

Germany: One in two rejected asylum seekers win appeal in court

Rejected asylum seekers in Germany almost always challenge the decision in court, and around 40 percent of them win. The number of such appeals nearly doubled from 2016 to 2017. Nearly half of all rejected asylum seekers win their challenge against the decision, according to a report published Friday (23 March). Over 328,000 asylum seekers appealed the decision to deny …

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Angela Merkel stresses migrants, Islam in first Bundestag address of new government

In the first major speech of her new term, German Chancellor Angela Merkel struck a conciliatory tone on immigration while offering an inclusive message on Islam. “Germany can do it,” she said, and “we are all Germany.” Jefferson Chase reports. Wednesday 21 March was the first time Angela Merkel addressed the Bundestag after the unprecedentedly long and difficult process of …

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Germany: Plan for one-stop processing centres for asylum-seeker unveiled

Asylum-seekers arriving in Germany are to be sent to centres where they will stay until their application is decided, under a plan by the new coalition government. The move is intended to make the process more efficient, but critics are worried that vulnerable and traumatized people may be put at increased risk. The plan to establish all-in-one processing centres for …

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Net migration to Germany sank by half in 2016

Some 500,000 more people moved to Germany than left in 2016, Germany’s statistics office says. The figure is less than half that of the previous year. Net migration to Germany fell by more than half from 2015 to 2016, figures released on Tuesday by the German Federal Statistics Office show. Altogether 1,865,000 people came to Germany in 2016, while 1,365,000 …

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Germany: Merkel responds to interior minister’s comment on Islam

Chancellor Angela Merkel and several members of the new federal cabinet have responded to the interior minister’s remarks on the position of Islam in Germany. New Interior Minister Horst Seehofer had told Bild newspaper “Islam doesn’t belong to Germany,” but added that “the Muslims who live with us are, of course, part of Germany.” Seehofer, a former head of Bavaria’s …

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“Islam doesn’t belong to Germany,” says new Interior Minister

New Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has said Islam is not part of German culture. His comments underscore his efforts to push the government to the right. Rebecca Staudenmaier reports. Germany’s new government may now finally be in place, but Chancellor Angela Merkel’s grand coalition appears to be off to a rocky start. On Thursday, newly inaugurated Interior Minister Horst Seehofer …

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Angela Merkel re-elected as German chancellor for fourth term

Germany’s parliament has elected Angela Merkel as the country’s new leader. The conservative Merkel will govern in a grand coalition with the Social Democrats. But the vote was much closer than expected. Merkel’s election by Germany’s lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, on Wednesday ends 171 days of waiting after Germany’s national election on September 24, 2017. Merkel was elected …

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Success of asylum applications varies across German states

Chances of being granted asylum may depend on the state in which the application is filed. Figures provided by the German Office for Migration and Refugees reveal significant differences in protection rates in individual states, reports Charlotte Hauswedell. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) is responsible for the processing of asylum requests in all sixteen German states. In …

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Germany’s incoming interior minister vows to increase deportations

Horst Seehofer, Germany’s designated interior minister, has said he has a “master plan for faster asylum procedures, and more consistent deportations.” He also said there was a need for a strong state to protect Germany’s liberal values. The incoming interior minister, who is head of the conservative Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU), made the comments in an interview published on …

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German court hands long jail terms to far-right extremists

A German court sentenced seven men and one woman to four to 10 years in jail on Wednesday for founding a far-right terrorist group responsible for attempted murder and bomb attacks on refugee shelters and politicians in the former Communist East. The individuals were members of the “Freital Group”, named after their base in the state of Saxony, a bastion …

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Germany: Flixbus takes on Deutsche Bahn with train routes

German bus start-up Flixbus has announced that it will begin running two long-distance train services, in a challenge to the dominance of state-owned rail behemoth Deutsche Bahn. The “Flixtrains”, decked out in the trademark bright-green of the company’s low-cost buses, will travel from Hamburg to Cologne from March 24, while the Stuttgart to Berlin line will open in April. Prices …

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German President Steinmeier officially proposes Merkel as chancellor

After months of political upheaval, Chancellor Angela Merkel is now set for the final step before her fourth term. Merkel told the press Monday morning that many issues required the government to “start working soon.” German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Monday (5 March) formally proposed Chancellor Angela Merkel be re-elected to her post, ending months of uncertainty following the German …

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Far-right crime reaches record high in Berlin

The German capital city saw a drastic increase in far-right crime last year with more than 1,942 incidents reported, the highest in ten years. Incidents of incitement, damage to property and public calls to criminal action accounted for most of the crime. The number of politically-motivated crimes in Berlin, however, declined by ten per cent compared to 2016. A total …

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Protests against right-wing extremist demonstration in Berlin

Berliners turned out on Saturday to register their protest against a public demonstration by the right-wing extremist organization “Wir für Deutschland (WFD). The alliance Bündnis für ein weltoffenes und tolerantes Berlin (Alliance for an open and tolerant Berlin), a joint effort of churches, trade unions, charities, Landessportbund Berlin and further actors of civil society, held a counter demonstration in the …

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Germany: SPD members approve coalition with Merkel’s conservatives

More than five months after Germans went to polls at the 24 September 2017 national election, Germany will finally be getting a new government. The final hurdle was cleared when the Social Democratic Party (SPD) members approved the coalition deal party leaders had negotiated with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU. Sixty-six percent of party members who voted supported a continuation …

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Demand for workers remains at a very high level in Germany

Unemployment in Germany held steady at historic lows in February, official data showed Wednesday, as booming demand in Europe’s top economy fuels an ongoing hiring spree. The jobless rate was unchanged this month at 5.4 percent, the federal labour agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit or BA) said in figures adjusted for seasonal swings, remaining at the lowest level since German reunification …

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