LONDON - Germany has outlined plans to tighten deportation laws for foreigners in the wake of the series of attacks on hundreds of women in Cologne and other cities on New Year’s Eve. Police say the attacks appear to have been carried out by groups of young migrant men. Nineteen suspects have so far been identified, all of them migrants. There have been several revenge attacks against foreigners in Cologne.
Far right supporters and football hooligans smashed shop windows and damaged cars in the eastern city of Leipzig in the early hours of Tuesday.
Tougher deportation laws
The rampage began around the same time that 2,000 supporters of the anti-Islamic PEGIDA movement demonstrated nearby, carrying signs with slogans like "Freedom for Germany."Olaf Spermer was among the protesters.
Spermer said what has really annoyed them in recent months is the whole situation regarding foreigners and how things have been handled. He said he's not alone in how he feels and that many people think things will end in a very bad way.
German Justice Minister Heiko Maas Tuesday outlined tougher deportation laws for anyone convicted of certain crimes, including sexual assault.
Police have recorded more than 500 criminal complaints from New Year's Eve, almost half of which involved sexual assault.Andrea Mammone, an expert of the European far right at Royal Holloway, University of London, said anti-immigrant groups are exploiting the attacks for political gain by... “...trying to spread this message that ‘we told you.
’We told you that it was unacceptable to have these people,” Mammone said. “We told you that it was a danger to have these people. We told you they were coming from different traditions, different cultures, and they couldn’t understand our values.”
In a series of revenge attacks on foreigners in Cologne, six Pakistanis, two Syrians and three men from Guinea were injured.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended her policy of accepting over a million refugees Tuesday.
She said Germans know that since the terrible events of that night in Cologne, for integration to work, society needs to be open; but, she said, the refugees also need to be willing to follow the country's rules and values.
Cologne police have set up a 100-strong team to investigate the New Year’s Eve attacks and are looking at exchanges on social media in the run-up to the night.