Angela Merkel secures asylum seeker return deals with 14 EU countries

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel addresses a press conference at The Europa building in Brussels on June 29, 2018, on the sidelines of the European Union leaders' summit, without Britain, to discuss Brexit and eurozone reforms. (AFP / Ludovic MARIN)
Updated 30 June 2018
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Angela Merkel secures asylum seeker return deals with 14 EU countries

  • EU leaders agreed at the summit to share out refugees on a voluntary basis and create “controlled centers” inside the European Union
  • Move is part of an effort to placate Chancellor Angela Merkel’s restive Bavarian allies.

BERLIN: Fourteen European Union countries have said they are prepared to sign deals with Germany to take back asylum seekers who had previously registered elsewhere, part of an effort to placate Chancellor Angela Merkel’s restive Bavarian allies.
In a document sent to leaders of her coalition partners, seen by Reuters, Merkel listed 14 countries, including some of those most outspoken in their opposition to her open-door refugee policy, which had agreed to take back migrants.
Under the EU’s Dublin convention, largely honored in the breach since Merkel’s 2015 decision to open Germany’s borders, asylum seekers must lodge their requests in the first EU country they set foot in.
Merkel needs breathing space in her standoff with Bavaria’s Christian Social Union, whose leader, interior minister Horst Seehofer threatened ahead of this week’s Brussels summit to defy Merkel by closing Germany’s borders to some refugees and migrants, a move that would likely bring down her government.
EU leaders agreed at the summit to share out refugees on a voluntary basis and create “controlled centers” inside the European Union to process asylum requests.
According to the document seen by Reuters, the bilateral agreements will make the deportation process for refugees who have earlier registered elsewhere far more effective.
“At the moment, Dublin repatriations from Germany succeed in only 15 percent of cases,” the document says. “We will sign administrative agreements with various member states... to speed the repatriation process and remove obstacles.”
Among the countries that have said they are open to signing such agreements are Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic, countries which have opposed any scheme to share out asylum seekers across the continent.
The other countries named are Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden.
Austria, where new Chancellor Sebastian Kurz is an immigration hard-liner who governs in coalition with the far right, is absent from the list.


Motion filed by top parliament official to impeach Somali president

Updated 09 December 2018
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Motion filed by top parliament official to impeach Somali president

MOGADISHU: The top official of Somali's parliament administration said on Sunday he had filed a motion with the speaker of parliament to impeach the country's president, Mohamed Abdullahi.
"We have filed an impeachment against the president of the federal republic of Somalia," Abdikarim H. Abdi Buh said in a statement.
Constitutionally, 92 lawmakers have to sign such a motion for it to be submitted to the speaker. Parliament may debate the motion a week later.
Somalia's parliament has 275 lawmakers in total. A successful impeachment vote requires the backing of two thirds of all MPs.
A copy of the motion, seen by Reuters, lists as grounds for the impeachment an allegation that the president secretly signed agreements with other countries including Ethiopia and Eritrea.
The agreements touched on the use of Somali ports and economic and security cooperation, it said.
He was also accused of illegally extraditing alleged criminals to other countries and violating Somalia's federalism law and the rules and regulations of parliament.
Officials at the president's office could not be reached for comment.