News analysis

Germany starts to deal with fraught issue of immigration reform

Country badly needs skilled immigrants but politicians face obstacles set by populists

For decades, the German asylum law was literally untouchable.

Enshrined in the aftermath of the Third Reich - during which the brutal Nazi dictatorship drove hundreds of thousands out of the country - the founding fathers of the current German Constitution wanted to set a clear mark that the post-war country was different. Article 16 (2) of the Constitution, adopted in 1949, states that "politically persecuted persons have the right to asylum".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 02, 2018, with the headline 'Germany starts to deal with fraught issue of immigration reform'. Print Edition | Subscribe