Cologne hits back: Merkel backs new powers to expel migrant criminals as anti-Islam protesters take to streets and police admit ‘majority’ of sex attackers were refugees
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel has backed a toughening of expulsion rules for convicted refugees in Germany
- Around 1,700 protesters from the anti-Islam Pegida movement were kept apart from 1,300 counter demonstrators
- Under potential new rules, migrants who commit a crime, even if they have not been to prison, could be kicked out
- German police confirmed the number of cases of violence reported from New Year Eve has now reached up to 379
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has backed a toughening of expulsion rules for convicted refugees as protesters took to the streets against sexual attacks by gangs of migrants.
The supporters of the xenophobic Pegida and women’s rights groups descended on the streets of Cologne, where many carried anti-refugee banners.
Merkel declared today that refugees who have committed a crime – even those who have not been given jail terms – should be required to leave Germany.
‘If the law does not suffice, then the law must be changed’ she said, vowing action to protect not just German citizens, but innocent refugees too.
Outrage is growing in Germany over the revelations that hundreds of women ran a gauntlet of groping hands, lewd insults and robberies in mob violence last week in the western city.
At least 379 cases of violence on New Year’s Eve in Cologne have been filed, with asylum seekers and illegal immigrants making up the vast majority of suspects, police said today.
The police said around 40 per cent of those case related to sexual assault and they are mostly investigating ‘people from North African countries’.
Around 100 investigators are now looking into whether charges can be brought against the suspects.
Cologne police chief Wolfgang Albers was suspended yesterday after his force came under fire for failing to prevent the shocking night of crime, despite heightened police presence on New Year’s Eve.
Witnesses described terrifying scenes of women running the ‘gauntlet’ of groping hands, lewd insults and robberies in the mob violence.
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