As political rhetoric on immigration heats up ahead of next year’s European elections, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Tuesday outlined plans to tighten migration laws and deport more asylum seekers whose applications do not meet the requirements. This step is a reversal of the policies of her predecessor, Angela Merkel.
In the first nine months of this year, 230,000 people applied for asylum in Germany, more than the total number in 2022. With migrant shelters overcrowded, local governments complain that costs are skyrocketing beyond their means.
Scholz recently said that too many migrants were coming to Germany. After hosting a meeting with 16 state governors in Berlin on Monday (6/11) evening that lasted several hours, he emerged just before 03.00 am, Tuesday (7/11), with a deal he claimed would reduce migration .
The agreement would require the federal government to pay states and cities $8,000 per refugee starting next year, compared with annual lump sum payments of just under $4 billion. Scholz said this would allow funds issued by the federal government to rise and fall according to demand.
Benefits for asylum seekers will be cut, including a doubling of waiting times for migrants to receive financial assistance. Chancellor Scholz also promised to speed up asylum decisions and make it easier to deport those denied refugee status. (lt/ft)