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Open-door refugee policy harshly criticized

The former head of Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court, Hans-Jürgen Papier, harshly criticized Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door refugee policy and called for immediately closing the country’s borders in a Handelsblatt interview.

“Chancellor Merkel has to follow a stricter asylum policy, ensure a clear separation of asylum granting and migration policy, and secure the country’s external borders,” Papier told Handelsblatt.

Ms. Merkel can suspend the Schengen rules, which guarantee freedom of movement within the 28-nation European Union, temporarily, the retired judge and law professor said. “It’s a mistake that Germany grants unrestricted entry,” according to mr. Papier.

Government has the “central obligation to counter dangers that may arise from permanent, unlimited and unchecked migration of unprecedented proportions to Germany,” he said. The ongoing refugee crisis, which saw Germany taking in more than 1.1. million refugees in 2015, most of them from Syria and Iraq, revealed “striking policy failures,” said the former judge. “A course correction is overdue,” he added.

Read the full interview in Tuesday’s Handelsblatt Global Edition at 12:00 Central European Time