Mass sexual assaults during New Year in Cologne sparked fury after suspects were reportedly labelled as “men of North African appearance.”
Sigmar Gabriel, leader of the centre-left Social Democratic Party has now warned North Africa to take back rejected asylum seekers or they will lose their foreign aid.
He said: “Germany is more than willing to give economic aid to North Africa, but only when the governments there reciprocate by allowing people whose asylum applications have been rejected to travel back into the country.”
Prosecutors in Cologne are investigating 13 men in connection with the assaults, all alleged to be from North Africa.
The German governmet has found expelling Algerians and Moroccans difficult, claiming the countries are unwilling to take the asylum seekers back because of missing identity documents.
Between August and December up to 7,000 migrants from Algeria and Morocco sought asylum in Germany, according to reports.
Mass protests and party rebellions have escalated in the weeks after the Cologne attacks, calling on German Chancellor Angela Merkel to tighten the