German cabinet to label North African states as safe for deportation

Berlin (dpa) - Germany's cabinet wants three North African countries labelled as "safe countries of origin" to enable the quick return of asylum seekers there.

The cabinet is set to make the move on Wednesday, with the list of proposed safe countries to include Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria, along with the former Soviet republic of Georgia.
A previous attempt to list only the three North African failed in the upper chamber of the German parliament in the last legislative period.
Reports in the RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland group of publications said that the new draft law will include a provision to allow those who have started a job, professional training or an apprenticeship to remain in Germany.
Opposition politicians have criticized the move. Robert Habeck, leader of the Greens, said on Wednesday that the three North African countries, part of the Maghreb region, were not safe for many people.
"It is still the case that journalists, minorities and homosexuals are not safe from persecution and arrest in the Maghreb states," Habeck told RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland.
"There are reports of torture and unfair court proceedings. Therefore I cannot see how these states are safe," he said.
Habeck said the designation of countries as "safe countries of origin" does not solve any problems the move is aimed at.
"If it's about sending people from the Maghreb back more quickly, you need to have a functioning repatriation agreement," Habeck said. "If it's about dealing with crime in Germany, then you need a well-equipped police force."


Wednesday, July 18th 2018

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