Germany and Algeria want to find ways to speed up repatriation of Algerians living illegally in Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel said during a visit to Algeria.
Since around a million asylum seekers reached Germany in 2015, Merkel’s government has pushed for ways to speed up the process of sending home those whose applications are denied.
The issue drew particular attention in relation to North Africa when Anis Amri, a Tunisian, killed 12 people in a Berlin Christmas market attack in December 2016. Amri’s deportation was delayed because he had no valid passport, a source of frustration for German officials dealing with the Tunisian, Algerian and Moroccan embassies.
“We talked about how to make more efficient so those who have no right to stay will be returned,” Merkel said during her one-day visit when asked about deportations of Algerians.
She gave no further details.
Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia said his government was willing to solve cases of Algerians eligible for deportation, provided their identities are established. German authorities say nearly 3,700 Algerians are eligible for deportation.
“Algeria takes back its children,” he said, adding new digital technology would make identification easier.
German media reported the number of Algerian failed asylum applicants deported from Germany rose to 504 in 2017 from 57 in 2015.
Germany wants to declare Algeria, like Tunisia and Morocco, a safe country of origin, which would make it easier to deport asylum seekers. Less than two percent of Algerian asylum applicants in Germany receive protected status.