Germany to turn down 75,000 asylum requests as speeds procedures - magazine

by Reuters
Saturday, 5 September 2015 12:01 GMT

BERLIN, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Germany is expected to reject up to 75,000 asylum requests this year by migrants mainly from southeastern Europe, as it speeds up asylum and extradition procedures for those from countries it deems safe to focus on refugees from war-torn Syria and Iraq.

Der Spiegel magazine said on Saturday Germany had deported more than 10,000 foreigners so far this year, many of them from western Balkan countries such as Serbia and Macedonia, around the same number as for the whole of 2014.

Germany expects a record influx of up to 800,000 refugees and migrants this year, four times last year's level. With relatively liberal asylum laws and generous benefits, Germany is the EU's biggest recipient of people fleeing war in the Middle East and economic migrants from southeastern Europe.

The head of the Federal Agency of Migration and Refugees, Manfred Schmidt, told Der Spiegel authorities would decide on more than 75,000 asylum requests filed by migrants from western Balkan countries by the end of 2015, and that nearly all of them would be rejected.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday Germany can cope with the record number of refugees this year without raising taxes or jeopardising the government's goal of a balanced budget.

Merkel's coalition is expected to agree on a series of measures on Sunday, including cutting red tape to facilitate the building of asylum shelters, speeding up asylum procedures and increasing funds for federal states and towns.

The agenda will also include widening the list of countries deemed safe -- thereby removing the right to claim asylum from its citizens -- probably to include Kosovo, Albania and Montenegro. Among the countries already deemed safe are Serbia, Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. (Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Ros Russell)

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