German Minister calls for EU migrants to be screened at border

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Germany's Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir has spoken out in favour of pre-screening asylum seekers' applications at the EU's external borders, reported dpa.

"This means that we must know at the European border who is entering the EU, where the people come from and how high the probability of staying is," Özdemir, himself a child of Turkish immigrants, told the Neue Osnabrücker newspaper in comments published on Wednesday.

"In the case of countries where the probability is very high, these people should be granted recognition," Özdemir said. He added, however, that it must be ensured that these migrants are distributed within the European Union and called for European solidarity.

"If we want the European Union to act together, the states of southern Europe must not be left alone." That regularly leads to right-wing populists coming to power there, he said.

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser has also previously proposed carrying out an initial assessment of asylum seekers' chances at the EU's external borders. The proposal was met with opposition from the Green Party's spokesman for its younger members.

Timon Dzienus said the current coalition government, which includes the Greens, the Social Democrats (SPD) and the business-friendly Free Democrats, "promised a change toward a humanitarian migration policy — now they want to build new barbed wire fences around Europe."

Dzienus said Faeser, an SPD member, was trampling on the fundamental right to asylum.

"Neither the people fleeing nor the municipalities are helped by this," Dzienus said in comments to the news service Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND) published on Wednesday.

Özdemir, a Green Party memeber, also voiced criticism of migration policy in Germany, specifically with regard to German-Turks. "I would like us to succeed in turning foreigners into nationals if they speak our language, acknowledge the Basic Law and earn their living here. Then they belong," he said.

It is still the case that a large proportion of children born in Germany to Turkish parents do not receive German citizenship. "That means we are still producing domestic foreigners," Özdemir said.

According to the minister, Germany's migration policy ensures that parts of the German-Turkish community turn to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

"If you tell people long enough, 'You don't belong to this,' then they behave like that."

Turkey holds parliamentary and presidential elections on Sunday. Erdoğan had done well in past elections among Turkish nationals in Germany.

  •  EU migrants
  •  Screened
  •  Border


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