German coalition parties agree to tighten security after truck attack | Reuters

BERLIN The leaders of Germany's 'grand coalition' have agreed to tighten security measures after the deadly truck attack on a Berlin Christmas market, including tougher steps to deport migrants seen as security risks, officials said on Monday.Leaders of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), its CSU Bavarian sister party and the Social Democrats (SPD), agreed at a meeting in Munich to move ahead with the proposals made last month by Justice Minister Heiko Maas and Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere.'A well-fortified government is our answer to terrorist threats,' Maas, a Social Democrat, said in a statement. 'We are in agreement that the existing rules must be rigorously enforced, and that we must tighten the rules where necessary.'Maas said it was critical that those migrants who were ordered to leave the country were actually deported.The agreement paves the way for Germany's ruling right-centre coalition to implement the package of measures and speed any needed legislation through parliament. Die Welt newspaper reported in its Tuesday editions that the measures also included strict residency controls on asylum seekers

Reuters February 07, 2017 02:45:04 IST
German coalition parties agree to tighten security after truck attack
| Reuters

German coalition parties agree to tighten security after truck attack
 Reuters

BERLIN The leaders of Germany's "grand coalition" have agreed to tighten security measures after the deadly truck attack on a Berlin Christmas market, including tougher steps to deport migrants seen as security risks, officials said on Monday.Leaders of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), its CSU Bavarian sister party and the Social Democrats (SPD), agreed at a meeting in Munich to move ahead with the proposals made last month by Justice Minister Heiko Maas and Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere."A well-fortified government is our answer to terrorist threats," Maas, a Social Democrat, said in a statement. "We are in agreement that the existing rules must be rigorously enforced, and that we must tighten the rules where necessary."Maas said it was critical that those migrants who were ordered to leave the country were actually deported.The agreement paves the way for Germany's ruling right-centre coalition to implement the package of measures and speed any needed legislation through parliament. Die Welt newspaper reported in its Tuesday editions that the measures also included strict residency controls on asylum seekers.

Security and migration will be major campaign themes ahead of the national election on Sept. 24 in which Merkel is seeking a fourth term.Merkel's party has been bleeding support to the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party which has criticized Merkel's "open-door" refugee policy. A poll released Monday showed that the SPD, junior partners in the coalition, would triumph if the election were held today.

The country is on edge over Islamist violence after a spate of attacks last year, and questions about why Anis Amri, the 24-year-old Tunisian asylum-seeker who ploughed the truck into revellers at the market, was still in the country despite deportation orders. German authorities had not sent Amri back to Tunisia because they were awaiting papers from the Tunisian government. He was shot dead by police in northern Italy. He had not been held in Germany because German authorities did not believe he would carry out an attack.

Maas said it was important to enforce Germany's rules and laws to build long-term acceptance for migration. He said the party leaders also agreed to initiate a programme aimed at preventing Islamist militancy.Coalition sources said SPD leaders rejected a proposal made by the conservatives that would have set up "transit zones" for processing migrants. (Reporting by Holger Hansen; Writing by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Alison Williams)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.