Angela Merkel hopes to step up Germany's migrant deportations to bolster re-election bid

Berlin: Chancellor Angela Merkel hopes for progress on deporting more rejected asylum-seekers as she meets with governors of Germany's 16 states on Thursday.

File photo of Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel. AP

File photo of Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel. AP

Merkel, who faces an election in September, has called repeatedly for a "national effort" to make sure that people who have no right to stay leave the country.

Deportations are a matter for state governments. But Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere has made clear the federal government wants more influence.

He called on Thursday for "exit-centres" near airports where people could be taken ahead of deportations "so that things are more orderly and many don't simply evade deportation at the last minute."

De Maiziere told ARD television he wants a national centre to coordinate returns.

Merkel had said earlier that there was no solution to the problem of how to fairly share the burden of migration in the European Union, an issue that has weighed on Berlin's relations with other members of the 28-nation bloc ever since the migrant influx of 2015.

The impasse has given ammunition to Merkel's domestic critics, who have railed against Germany's decision to take in hundreds of thousands of asylum-seekers over the past two years even as other European countries closed their borders to migrants.

Updated Date: Feb 09, 2017 16:15 PM

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