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efms Migration Report

July 1999

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Kosovar refugees in Germany

2,000 of the 15,000 refugees from Kosovo who have come to Germany, voluntarily return to their home country. Each voluntarily returning person receives a free flight home and approximately 450 DM in financial assistance for the transition period. At a meeting of the twelve most important western refugee receiving countries in Geneva to coordinate the repatriation of Kosovar refugees, a program of the UNHCR and the International Organisation for Migration (IMO) has been approved. Beginning on July 15, up to 1,000 refugees daily will be returned to Kosovo via Skopje and from there brought to their homes by bus. The IOM and the UNHCR will be in charge of coordinating the flights. Neither the Bund nor the Länder so far have made a clear statement on the idea of a compulsory repatriation of the refugees in fall. The Greens and Pro Asyl warn that the situation in Kosovo continues to be unstable. Kosovar refugees increasingly enter Germany through Italy. Bayerns Interior Minister, Günther Beckstein, criticizes Italy for not providing adequate security at its borders. Beckstein considers this an infringement of the Schengen Agreement.
dpa 8.7.99 // FR 1.7.99 // dpa 13.7.99 // NZZ 13.7.99 // FR 30.7.99 // Welt 30.7.99

Reform of citizenship law takes effect

The long-debated and still controversial reform of the citizenship law has been signed by President Johannes Rau on July 15. Beginning in the year 2000 children born in Germany of foreign parents will receive German citizenship provided that one parent has legally resided in Germany for at least 8 years. According to the so-called option model, the children have until their 23rd birthday to decide which citizenship they wish to retain.
Welt 21.7.99

Revision of Foreign Office country reports

Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer (The Greens) orders a revision of the country reports of the Foreign Office which serve as the basis for making descisions on asylum requests. Moreover, the Foreign Office will meet four times a year with representatives of important nongovernmental organizations (such as Pro Asyl and Amnesty International) and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to discuss the situation in the native countries of asylum seekers. The following reports shall supply "facts" while "judgings" shall largely be "left to courts and authorities". At present the Turkey-Report is being prepared as the first report drawn up according to these criteria.
FR 12.7.99 // Auswärtiges Amt Press Announcement 23.7.99 // FR 29.7.99

EU admonishes Germany for discriminating against foreign employees

The EU admonishes Germany for discriminating foreign employees in the public services. German law leaves members of other EU-countries uncredited for their professional experience if working in the public service sector. According to the established jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice the ruling is unlawful. If German legislationremains unchanged, Germany will be called to account before the European Court of Justice.
FR 29.7.99

Right of asylum: Corrections of procedure

The Federal Minister of the Interior, Otto Schily (SPD) proposes a change in the asylum procedure. Schily aims at a differentiation between applications for asylum and intended immigration. Photocopying the passports of applicants for political asylum at the departure airport would be one possible correction in applying the right of asylum. Thus, applicants of political asylum could be hindered in making passports disappear in order to avoid immediate deportation. Cem Özdemir (The Greens) judges Schily s proposal as an "interesting idea", but appeals to Schily to discuss his plans within the red-green coalition in order to bring about common descisions.
FAZ 26.7.99 // taz 26.7.99

Employers must pay for deportation of illegally employed

According to a ruling of the Administrative Court of Koblenz, employers of illegally employed foreigners must pay for their deportation, including the costs of security officials to accompany the deportees.
SZ 10.7.99

Racist remarks at work justify dismissal without notice

The Federal Labor Court in Kassel decides that even apprentices can be dismissed without notice for making racist remarks at work. The case in question involved a 16 year old apprentice in Berlin who had insulted Turkish colleagues and had repeatedly sung neo-Nazi songs. The court viewed this behaviour as a particularly severe breach of duty.
FR 2.7.99

PKK supporters stage protests

Four and a half months after the occupation of the general consulate of Israel in Berlin, two Kurds receive suspended sentences of between nine months and two years. After PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan receives the death sentence, several arson attacks on Turkish facilities are carried out in Nordrhein-Westphalen and Niedersachsen. More than 7,000 Kurds demonstrate peacefully in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Welt 1.7.99 // dpa 2.7.99 // FR 3.7.99 // Welt 3.7.99 // FAZ 20.7.99

Statistics: more binational marriages

According to the the Federal Bureau of Statistics the number of marriages between Germans and foreigners in April 1998 was 682,000 which is 26,000 more than in the previous year. Of the 19,500 million married couples in Germany 3.5% involve binational partners.
taz 14.7.99

Aussiedler statistics; immediate measures to reduce youth unemployment successful

In July 1999 the number of persons recorded as Aussiedler (ethnic German immigrants) still decreases: 7,738 persons register as Aussiedler, whereas in the same month of the previous year 9,119 persons had registered. The Federal Commissioner for Aussiedler, Jochen Welt, emphasizes the importance of integrating juvenile Aussiedler into the labor market. In this context he points out that the immediate measures of the Federal Government to reduce youth unemployment so far have produced good results, especially with Aussiedler.
BMI Press Announcement 30.7.99

Asylum statistics; number of applicants for political asylum from Kosovo decreases

In July 1999 9,048 persons apply for political asylum in Germany. This signifies a slight decrease of 2,4% compared to the previous month. The number includes a considerable decline of applications for political asylum of Kosovo-Albanians: 35,6%. On the other hand, the number of applicants for political asylum from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, who are not of ethnic Albanian origin increases. The rate of approval in completed cases was 3,8% (302 persons).
BMI Press Announcement 6.8.99

July 1999

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