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Germany taking steps to discourage migrants
By:China Daily Global
update:November 08,2023
Nov.8, 2023 -- Germany's Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the leaders of the nation's 16 constituent states thrashed out a tough new migration policy during lengthy talks that ended on Tuesday.
The agreement came against the backdrop of a sharp rise in the popularity of far-right anti-immigration political parties in Germany that have fed off people's frustration with the large number of migrants entering the country in recent years to seek asylum.
Both Scholz and the 16 state governors have seen their share of the vote fall as the far-right parties have grown.
Tuesday's deal included Scholz agreeing new funding for the 16 states after they complained of shortfalls because of their need to house irregular migrants. The funding will include an up-front payment of 1.75 billion euros ($1.87 billion) that will arrive early next year, and subsequent annual funding of 7,500 euros per migrant.
Scholz, who described the agreement as a "historic moment", said: "Our shared goal is to push back irregular migration."
He said the agreement offered the nation a "transition to a breathing system" and explained that the new funding means "with rising numbers there is more money, with falling numbers there is less".
The funding agreement followed Scholz's center-left coalition government introducing a raft of proposed new measures in recent weeks to discourage irregular migration that the 16 state governors signed off on. The measures include steps to make it easier to deport migrants who are not granted asylum, and changes that mean migrants must wait longer before they can receive full government handouts. Additionally, migrants will be allowed to work and support themselves while waiting for a decision on whether they will be granted asylum. There will also be longer sentences for the people-traffickers who bring migrants into the country illegally.
During the first nine months of 2023, 230,000 people arrived and claimed asylum in the nation of 84 million people. Additionally, around 1 million refugees from Ukraine have settled in Germany during the past two years.
The BBC said some state governors had also wanted Germany's federal government to introduce a system in which asylum applicants can be processed in a third country, in a move that would have been similar to the United Kingdom's proposed system to process some asylum applicants in Rwanda.
However, the federal government said during the meeting with the state governors that the idea will not be introduced immediately and will instead be examined at a later date.
Boris Rhein, governor of the central state of Hesse, said the new measures will take things in the right direction.
"It is also clear that a path consists of many steps and that further steps must, of course, follow," the Associated Press quoted him as saying.
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