Germany's Scholz approves tougher measures to tackle migration
Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the heads of Germany's 16 states on Wednesday agreed on new measures to tackle soaring migration after crunch talks.
In the first four months of 2023, some 101,981 asylum applications were filed in Germany, an increase of 78 percent from the same period in 2022.
Almost 218,000 applications were filed in Germany last year, the highest number since 2015-16, with the largest number of newcomers hailing from war-torn Syria and Afghanistan, followed by Turkey and Iraq.
In addition, more than a million people arrived from Ukraine in the wake of Russia's invasion of the country.
In Wednesday's agreement, a modernisation of IT systems is due to help accelerate the processing of asylum applications, which currently takes 26 months on average, potentially speeding up the expulsions of those with unsuccessful bids.
An extension of the maximum detention period for migrants from 10 to 28 days was agreed to make it easier to order and maintain their detention before a possible expulsion.
Germany will also aim to reach "new migrant partnerships" with the countries of origin of the new arrivals, Scholz told a press conference.
Scholz said the agreements would facilitate the arrival of "qualified staff" from the relevant nations in exchange for deals allowing the return of irregular migrants.
The federal government and the regions opted against implementing permanent border checks with neighbouring countries, but refused to rule it out.
Currently, Germany only applies fixed controls to everyone passing through along its border with Austria.
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