Scholz asks German opposition to support package to cut irregular migration

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BERLIN – German Chancellor Olaf Scholz asked the opposition leader Friedrich Merz in a letter seen by Reuters on Tuesday to support government measures to curb irregular migration to Germany.

“It is important to me that the federal government, the states and the opposition come to joint agreements to noticeably reduce irregular migration to Germany,” the Chancellor said in the letter.

Scholz was responding to a letter from the opposition leader, in which Merz offered to cooperate but also demanded a response to the proposals of his parliamentary group.

The Chancellor did not respond to Merz’s proposal to form a working group with equal representation. Instead, the letter emphasized necessary coordination with the federal states, with which the federal government wants to come to concrete agreements on Nov. 6.

Interior Minister Nancy Faeser plans on Wednesday to present a legislative package on faster repatriations.

“The citizens of our country rightly expect the number of those who come to us without the right to stay to fall quickly and significantly,” Scholz said.

Germany also wants a reform of the Common European Asylum System and the Chancellor asked for unity among the German political parties, to push for a speed agreement of the European parliament, the European Council and the European Commission.

The number of people requesting asylum in the 27-nation EU has risen 38% since 2019 to nearly one million last year, close to the record 2015 and 2016 levels, according to data from the EU’s Agency for Asylum.

A quarter of all those requests were made in Germany, making it one of the states with the highest rates of applications per capita. This year, it has seen requests soar around 80%. REUTERS

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