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 Sunday.

“The number of deportations must be increased significantly. We need to take tougher action, especially in the case of criminals and perpetrators among asylum seekers,” Seehofer told German newspaper Bild am Sonntag.

Activists protest against deportation to Afghanistan at the Dusseldorf International Airport, January 2018. Rights advocates say the country is unsafe / Photo: Screenshot/Report-D

Seehofer, who has been critical of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s immigration policies, said decisions on asylum applications must be made in a few months rather than in a year or more.

‘Strong state’

Seehofer also vowed to adopt a “zero tolerance” policy toward criminals.

“We want to remain an open-minded and liberal country. But when it comes to protecting our citizens, we need a strong state. I’ll make sure of that,” Seehofer said.

The future interior minister called for effective video surveillance at every hot spot in the country.

“There has to be a consensus throughout Germany that we will no longer tolerate lawless zones,” he said.

Seehofer will take over the newly renamed and enhanced Interior, Construction and Homeland (“Heimat”) Ministry in the new coalition government.

ap/aw (Reuters, dpa)/DW

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