News analysis

Germany wades into the hot political issue of immigration reform

Mr Friedrich Merz, who is one of the top contenders to succeed Angela Merkel as party chair, has questioned if an individual's right of asking for asylum still fits with the times.PHOTO: AFP

BERLIN - For decades the German asylum law was literally untouchable.

Enshrined in the aftermath of the Third Reich - during which the brutal Nazi dictatorship that 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, stated that "politically persecuted persons have the right to asylum".

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