German government reaches agreement on immigration reform

Berlin _ Agencies

The German coalition government reached an agreement on immigration reform, which Berlin hopes will make the country more attractive to skilled workers from all over the world.

The leader of the Democratic Socialist Party, Andrea Niles, made the announcement in the early hours of Tuesday morning after a six-hour meeting with leaders of the Christian Democratic Party led by Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The new legislation will place the shortage of industrial labour and the qualifications of migrants at the heart of migration policy. In addition, the process of identifying foreign qualifications will be accelerated.

It will also be easier for prospective immigrants to learn German before they arrive.

Germany has an aging population and needs immigrants to support its economy, but Merkel's opening of the border to the refugees in 2015 complicated the issue, with many voters objecting to the influx.

A paper summarizing the agreement, which was shared with the German news agency (AFP), said that the basic policy of separating asylum seekers from economically motivated migrants would be maintained.

However, the agreement also stipulated that the criterion for determining the status of rejected asylum-seekers but could not return to their homes--because of the risk of torture, for example--would be clarified, allowing for some exemptions.


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