Restrictions on refugees' families coming to Germany
Thomas de Maizière, Germany's interior minister, told the Heilbronner Stimme newspaper that, if reelected, he would continue to restrict refugees' family members joining them in Germany.
"I'd be in favor," he told the newspaper at a campaign event in the south-western city of Heilbronn, defying fellow Christian Democrat, Chancellor Angela Merkel, who said on Tuesday that no decisions on the subject would be made this year and certainly not before the elections on 24 September.
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According to tabloid newspaper Bild, an additional 390,000 people could come to Germany from Syria by 2018 if Germany allowed refugees under subsidiary protection to have family members join them.
De Maizière would not confirm those numbers, but said the numbers would be "huge" and that, on average, there could be one family member coming for every Syrian refugee in Germany.
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Germany currently does not allow family members of refugees under subsidiary protection. Individuals with subsidiary protection are those who are not recognized as refugees according to the Geneva Convention, but who face a serious threat in their country of origin. This two-year suspension period runs out in 2018.
De Maizière also said he is in favor of blocking the route from North Africa across the Mediterranean. "At the moment, traffickers are deciding who come to Europe and who doesn't. That's not right," he told Heilbronner Stimme.