[2/12/17] Chancellor Angela Merkel is setting aside €90m (£76m) in taxpayers’ money to create a fund which will pay migrants to withdraw their asylum applications and leave Germany voluntarily.
The handouts will form part of a 16-point plan to speed up the removal of rejected asylum seekers, after Tunisian migrant Anis Amri murdered a Polish lorry driver, hijacked his vehicle and drove it into a Christmas market in Berlin while awaiting deportation.
U.S. president Donald Trump told The Times that Merkel made a “catastrophic mistake” when she opened the doors to an unlimited number of migrants in 2015. Her vice-chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel, later admitted that his superior had underestimated how difficult it would be to integrate migrants on such a grand scale, and that Germany had been plunged into a kulturkampf, or “cultural war”, as a result.
Germany rejected 170,000 asylum claims in 2016 but, according to the Mail, just 26,000 were repatriated. 55,000 more decided to leave voluntarily – apparently leaving 81,000 bogus applicants unaccounted for.