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Germany

EU: Germany's Visa Regime Breached Law

EU Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner Franco Frattini said on Tuesday that controversial visa regulations introduced in Joschka Fischer's foreign ministry in 2000 did not comply with EU laws. "The commission's first assessment of the situation is that this circular (visa regulations) of 2000 was not really in full compliance with the common consular instruction," Frattini told a European Parliament committee in Strasbourg. The German rules had not provided for sufficient checks of a visa applicant's wealth and his or her intentions to return home, Frattini added. Germany subsequently tightened its visa regulations, in 2004. The commission was examining them to ensure that they are in line with EU requirements, Frattini said. The scandal over the liberal regulations has caused Foreign Minister Fischer's popularity to drop and dealt a blow to Germany's governing coalition.

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