BERLIN (AP) — The governor of Bavaria is striking a softer tone on refugees, saying he wants a “balance” between helping those entitled to asylum and swiftly deporting those who aren’t.
Markus Soeder opened a center for asylum and repatriation Friday as part of the southern German state’s efforts to streamline asylum procedures, which sometimes take years.
Soeder has been criticized for his tough stance on migration, including his use of the phrase “asylum tourism” to describe people moving to Germany if their application is rejected elsewhere in Europe.
Recent opinion polls showed Soeder’s conservative Christian Social Union party getting under 40 percent of the vote ahead of state elections in October.
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The opening of the new asylum processing center in Manching, north of Munich, was accompanied by protests from pro-migrant groups.