Migrants who commit crimes should lose their right to asylum, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday, toughening her tone as police in Cologne confronted right-wing protesters venting their anger at mass assaults on women on New Year’s Eve.
Police in the western city fired water canon to disperse protesters from the anti-Islamic PEGIDA movement, which has seized on the alleged involvement of migrants in the New Year attacks and stepped up its calls for a halt to the influx.
Nearly two dozen asylum seekers were among those suspected of carrying out the attacks, police said this week, heightening tensions over immigration and fuelling criticism of Merkel’s refusal to place a limit on the numbers of migrants entering the country.
“The right to asylum can be lost if someone is convicted, on probation or jailed,” Merkel said after a meeting of the leadership of her Christian Democrats (CDU) party that was overshadowed by the attacks in Cologne and other cities.
“Serial offenders who repeatedly rob or repeatedly affront women must feel the full force of the law,” Merkel told journalists in Mainz, promising a reduction over the longer term in the flow of migrants to Germany.
The remarks were in stark contrast to her earlier optimism about the influx to Germany, which has taken in far more migrants than any other European country. Her welcoming stance and ‘we can do it’ slogan irritated many Germans, uneasy about the arrival of some 1.1 million migrants last year.
Under German law, asylum seekers are now typically only deported if they have been sentenced to at least three years in prison, and providing their lives are not at risk at home.
نستخدم ملفات الكوكيز لنسهل عليك استخدام مواقعنا الإلكترونية ونكيف المحتوى والإعلانات وفقا لمتطلباتك واحتياجاتك الخاصة، لتوفير ميزات وسائل التواصل الاجتماعية ولتحليل حركة المرور لدينا...اعرف أكثر