Germany toughens asylum laws amid bitter migration debate

Press quote (Voice of America)
07 November 2023

Chancellor Scholz has an eye on upcoming European elections, scheduled for June next year, says analyst Camino Mortera-Martinez of the Centre for European Reform in Brussels.

"I think the timing of all this makes a lot of sense from a political point of view, because we've seen that there has been a string of regional elections in Germany and in other parts of Europe, and the mainstream or center-right parties are getting the message that they need to be — or look — tougher on migration, in order to get the votes that are now going to more radical alternatives, like Alternative for Germany."

Far-right parties are stoking fears of an influx of refugees from the Middle East following the Israel-Hamas conflict, Mortera-Matinez added.

"I think it is very dangerous to get into this idea that there is going to be a massive wave of refugees," she said. "This is the kind of discourse that benefits populists and the far-right."