Merkel's party calls for stricter asylum laws after Cologne attacks

BERLIN -- Chancellor Angela Merkel's party on Saturday proposed stricter laws regulating asylum seekers after a string of New Year's Eve sexual assaults and robberies in Cologne blamed largely on foreigners.

See Full Article

Merkel said the proposal, which will be discussed with her coalition partners and would need parliamentary approval, would help Germany deport "serial offenders" convicted of lesser crimes.

"This is in the interests of the citizens of Germany, but also in the interests of the great majority of the refugees who are here," Merkel told party members in Mainz.

The reports of the Cologne attacks on women by groups of men described by police as predominantly Arab or North African in origin have fueled calls for tighter controls in Germany, which received nearly 1.1 million migrants in 2015.

"If people act outside the law... naturally there must be consequences," Merkel said.

Of 31 suspects temporarily detained for questioning following the New Year's Eve attacks, there were 18 asylum seekers but also two Germans and an American among others, and none were accused of specifically committing sexual assaults and the investigation is ongoing.

Cologne's police chief was dismissed Friday amid mounting criticism of his force's handling of the incidents, and being slow with releasing information.

Merkel said local authorities must not be perceived to be withholding information and urged that the case be "fully clarified."

"Everything has to be put on the table," she said.

The proposal passed by party leaders would strengthen the ability of police to conduct checks of identity papers, and also to exclude foreigners from being granted asylum who had been convicted of crimes and sentenced to terms even as light as probation.

"Serial offenders who consistently, for example, return to theft or time and again insult women must count on the force of the law," Merkel said.

Merkel has steadfastly refused to agree to establish a cap on newcomers, but the CDU proposal did note that "a continuation of the current influx would overwhelm the state and society even in a country like Germany in the long run," the dpa news agency reported.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Two men charged with assaulting Dennis Oland in prison face sentencing

    Canada News CTV News
    MIRAMICHI, N.B. - Two Halifax men charged with assaulting Dennis Oland in a New Brunswick prison last July are to be sentenced today in Miramichi. Convicted killer Cody Alexander Muise and Aaron Marriott, who was convicted in a 2008 drug shooting, attacked Oland at Atlantic Institution in Renous, N.B. Source
  • Papua New Guinea officials pressure asylum seekers to leave camp

    World News CTV News
    CANBERRA, Australia - Papua New Guinea authorities on Thursday removed dozens of asylum seekers and ratcheted up pressure on more than 300 others to abandon a decommissioned immigration camp, where refugees reported their shelters, beds and other belongings have been destroyed. Source
  • Pope Francis to visit three Baltic nations next year

    World News CTV News
    COPENHAGEN - Pope Francis is planning a visit to Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia next year, when the three Baltic nations celebrate their 100th anniversaries. Daiva Ulbinaite, a spokeswoman for Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite, tells the Baltic News agency the visit is scheduled for autumn of 2018. Source
  • Argentina reports new clues in search for missing submarine

    World News CTV News
    MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina - Ships and planes hunting for a missing Argentine submarine with 44 crew members will return to a previously search area after officials said Wednesday that a noise made a week ago in the South Atlantic could provide a clue to the vessel's location. Source
  • Questions surround Mugabe's fate as Zimbabwe prepares for new leader

    World News CTV News
    HARARE, Zimbabwe - As Zimbabwe on Thursday prepared to swear in a new leader, Emmerson Mnangagwa, after 37 years, attention turned to the fate of Robert Mugabe and his wife. The 93-year-old Mugabe, who resigned on Tuesday as lawmakers began impeaching him, has not been seen outside a few photographs since his stunning speech to the nation on Sunday night in which he defied calls to step down. Source
  • Colombia rebels trade combat for cameras with new TV network

    World News CTV News
    BOGOTA - In a tiny bathroom, Marilu Ramirez prepares for her segment in a production studio by brushing her long black hair and covering her lashes in another coat of mascara, small luxuries in a life no longer being spent behind bars. Source
  • Ships, aircraft search for 3 missing after crash off Japan's coast

    World News CTV News
    TOKYO -- U.S. and Japanese ships and aircraft were searching in the Philippine Sea on Thursday for three sailors missing since a U.S. Navy aircraft crashed a day earlier. Eight people were rescued about 40 minutes after the crash of the C-2 "Greyhound" transport aircraft Wednesday afternoon, the Navy said. Source
  • U of T contract staff vote 91 per cent in favour of strike mandate

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO - Contract academic workers at the University of Toronto have given their union a 91 per cent mandate in favour of strike action as they work towards a new contract. The Canadian Union of Public Employees says the workers include non-student sessional lecturers, writing instructors and music professionals. Source
  • Toronto school board votes to end having police officers stationed in schools

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO - The Toronto District School Board has voted to permanently end the practice of having police officers stationed in high schools. There was loud applause when the result of a vote to scrap the School Resources Officer Program was announced on Wednesday night. Source
  • Democrats face backlash over sexual predation accusations

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON - Democrats have been quick to support the "me too" chorus of women - and some men - who have stepped up to allege sexual misconduct and name names. But now "me too" stains the Democrats, too, putting them in an awkward place as they calibrate how forcefully to respond. Source