On Friday, 26-year-old Ahmad A randomly stabbed shoppers with a 20-centimeter long knife at a Hamburg grocery store, killing one and injuring seven others. Following the attack, passers-by are seen confronting with the knife-wielding attacker with chairs, in a video run by German media Focus Online.
BERLIN, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- Julia Kloeckner, the deputy leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party accused her party's Social Democrat (SPD) coalition partner of blocking a stricter deportation regime on Tuesday.
Speaking in the wake of an Islamist knife attack in Hamburg, Kloeckner said: "We virtually had to force the SPD to act (on the issue). Unfortunately, we could not implement everything that we would have considered sensible."
The Hamburg attacker Ahmad A. had not been granted asylum in Germany and was thus obliged to leave the country. According to Kloeckner, he could have been held in custody until his deportation if the SPD "had supported our demands for a stricter deportation regime earlier".
A new law was enacted in Germany on Saturday, one day after the Hamburg stabbing, making it easier for authorities to take individuals who are obliged to leave the country into custody and monitor them.
Ahmad A. was known to authorities for his radical Islamist views but was not considered to pose a threat. Last Friday he killed one and injured seven with a knife in a Hamburg supermarket. The Palestinian national reportedly asked police to treat him as a terrorist upon being arrested.
Christian Social Union (CSU) politician Stephan Mayer had voiced similar concerns to those expressed by Kloeckner earlier, attributing part of the blame for the incident to the SPD.
The SPD rejected claims that it was responsible for the brutal acts of Ahmad A. because it had previously resisted enforcing a stricter deportation regime.
The German Interior Ministry has called for a significant rise in the number of places available at deportation detention centers.
"A further capacity requirement in the range of thousands of places at deportation detention centers is not unrealistic due to the high number of around 226,000 foreigners who are obliged to leave the country," a ministry spokesperson told the newspaper Welt.
According to Welt research, there are currently 400 places available at six deportation detention centers in Germany.
The Interior Ministry further said regional authorities in Germany's 16 states were not assuming their responsibility for placing individuals in such custody because they lacked available places.
At the same time, the number of individuals who voluntarily leave the country after failed asylum applications is falling.
The newspaper Bild cited official figures which showed that 16,645 individuals accepted financial support from the German government to return to their countries of origins in the period leading up to the end of June this year. In 2016, a total of 54,006 left Germany in this fashion, according to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees.
Under certain conditions, federal and state governments in Germany support refugees financially during their return to their homes with more than 1,000 euros (1,180 U.S. dollars) of "start-up support" per person.