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German government seeks greater cooperation with Algeria on deportations
19.9.18
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The German government wants to classify Algeria as a safe country of origin in terms of asylum law, as it has already done with Tunisia and Morocco. Rejected asylum seekers could be deported more quickly.

Commentators have doubts about reports of torture and unfair trials, but if the Chancellor receives promises from Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and his Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia it could be seen as reassuring.

The Social Democratic Party and Greens are sceptical. This Friday the plans of the federal government on safe countries of origin will be discussed in the Bundesrat. [1]

According to a report, the number of deportations to Algeria has increased significantly in recent years. In 2015 only 57 people from Germany were removed to the country, but in 2017 that number increased to 504, reported the Rheinische Post on Monday with reference to figures from the Federal Ministry of the Interior.

This year, the trend has continued - by July, about 350 people had already been deported to Algeria. Few asylum-seekers from Algeria are recognised in Germany. Last year, the recognition rate was two percent. [2]

On Monday 17 September, during Angela Merkel's official visit to Algeria, Prime Minister Ouyahia said that the country would welcome back all its nationals currently in an irregular situation in Germany, regardless of the number of people involved.

"I confirm that Algeria will take its children back, whether they are 3,000 or 5,000, provided that they can "identify" their nationality, he said at a joint press conference with Merkel in Algiers.

According to the Algerian Prime Minister, his country "is itself taking action against illegal migrants [and] can only agree with the German government on this subject". Ahmed Ouyahia also recalled that Algiers and Berlin have been bound by a readmission agreement since 1997.

He said that "Algeria fights for the rest of the international community" by preventing "annually 20,000 to 30,000 people from illegally entering [its territory] and often from Algeria to continue their way" to Europe, he said. [3]

Contributed by Aude de Coustin, member of the Migreurop network.

Footnotes

[1] Merkel beim "Vater der Stabilität" in Algerien, ZDF, 17 September 2018
[2] Zahl der Abschiebungen nach Algerien deutlich gestiegen, Frankfurter Allgemeine, 19 September 2018
[3] L’Algérie se dit prête à accueillir tous ses ressortissants présents illégalement en Allemagne, Le Monde, 18 September 2018

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