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

  • Number of snow days in N.S. schools amounts to a crisis: expert

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX -- An education expert says it is "bizarre" how often Nova Scotia schools are closed because of weather -- and the number of days lost this year amounts to a crisis. Paul Bennett, director of Schoolhouse Consulting in Halifax, said there has been an average of 12 lost days this school year in the province due to inclement weather. Source
  • PC MPP apologizes for questioning zero-tolerance of sexual abuse of patients

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Progressive Conservative MPP Jack MacLaren is apologizing for comments he made about the sexual abuse of patients. The Ottawa-area MPP had called a "zero-tolerance approach" to sexual abuse "dangerous" during a debate on Monday. Source
  • Driver returns birthday cash to woman who left purse on Calgary train

    Canada News CTV News
    CALGARY -- A woman who left behind a purse with $1,300 in birthday cash on a Calgary light-rail train says she can barely believe someone was honest enough to return it. Li Feng Yang had received the money for her 75th birthday and was planning to deposit it in the bank. Source
  • High school cheerleader in Oregon dies after being pinned beneath log along beach

    World News Toronto Sun
    Tragedy struck a coastal town in Oregon last weekend when a teen died after being pinned beneath a log at a beach. Aurora Sheffel and her friends were taking selfies on a 30-foot log when a strong tide swept it out from underneath them, pinning Sheffel. Source
  • 7 years for biting off dog's head, punching girlfriend

    World News Toronto Sun
    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A man in Puerto Rico has been sentenced to seven years in prison for biting off the head of a Chihuahua and punching his girlfriend. Authorities said Tuesday that a judge also ordered Luis Arroyo to pay a US$3,000 fine in the case that included domestic abuse and mistreatment of an animal. Source
  • Puerto Rico man bit off head of girlfriend's dog

    World News CTV News
    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- A man in Puerto Rico has been sentenced to seven years in prison for biting off the head of a Chihuahua and punching his girlfriend. Authorities said Tuesday that a judge also ordered Luis Arroyo to pay a $3,000 fine in the case that included domestic abuse and mistreatment of an animal. Source
  • Newfoundland and Labrador throne speech sets course through fiscal mess

    Canada News CTV News
    ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -- A throne speech today in Newfoundland and Labrador tries to turn a historic fiscal mess into an opportunity to do more with less. Lt.-Gov. Frank Fagan read the 32-page speech, which says the Liberal government took power in 2015 "at a fiscal breaking point. Source
  • Scotland to hold another referendum on exiting U.K.

    World News Toronto Sun
    EDINBURGH, Scotland — Scottish lawmakers voted Tuesday to seek a new referendum on independence, to be held within the next two years — an unwanted headache for the British government as it prepares to push the European Union exit button. Source
  • 'Carlos the Jackal' sentenced to life for deadly 1974 Paris attack

    World News CBC News
    A French court on Tuesday convicted the man known as "Carlos the Jackal," once the world's most-wanted fugitive, of a deadly 1974 attack on a Paris shopping arcade and sentenced him to life in prison for the third time. Source
  • Scottish MPs vote for new independence referendum

    World News CTV News
    EDINBURGH, Scotland -- Scottish lawmakers voted Tuesday to seek a new referendum on independence, to be held within the next two years -- an unwanted headache for the British government as it prepares to push the European Union exit button. Source