Germany to limit number of refugees to 200,000 annually

Coalition talks bring German Chancellor Angela Merkel to cap number of immigrants unless there are 'unexpected' developments.

Nissan Tzur,

Angela Merkel
Angela Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed to limit the number of immigrants to Germany to 200,000 annually.

The decision comes after coalition talks between Merkel's Christian Democratic Union and the Christian Social Union in Bavaria, as Merkel attempts to form her fourth coalition following September's elections.

According to the agreement, the number of refugees accepted into Germany annually will be capped at 200,000, but if there are "unexpected national or international developments," the number may be raised.

The 200,000 includes immigrants and asylum seekers whose family members have already entered Germany.

"We want to achieve a total number of people taken in for humanitarian reasons (refugees and asylum seekers, those entitled to subsidiary protection, family members, relocation and resettlement minus deportations and voluntary departures of future refugees) that does not exceed 200,000 people a year," the statement reads.

It also stipulates that asylum seekers will be housed in large guarded centers until their requests are handled, and that the process of deporting rejected asylum seekers to their home countries will be speeded up and efficient.

Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia are considered "countries of safe origin," and Germany will be able to deport citizens of those countries with relative ease.

Following the agreement, CSU General Secretary Andreas Scheuer said, "It is a good day for the conservatives and a good day for Germany."