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Conservatives back tougher rules on dual citizens

Published:Thursday | December 8, 2016 | 12:00 AM
German Chancellor Angela Merkel


Members of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's party voted yesterday to scrap rules that allow the children of immigrants to be dual citizens, a move opposed by party leaders and rejected by its partners in government.

Until 2014, German-born children of immigrants from outside the European Union or Switzerland had to pick one nationality between ages 18 and 23, a rule largely affecting Germany's Turkish community. Merkel's current centre-left coalition partners, the Social Democrats, insisted on dropping the requirement as a condition for entering the government.

That was never popular with Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union. Delegates at a convention in Essen narrowly backed a motion from the party's youth wing that advocated returning to the old system.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere had argued against the motion, noting that no potential coalition partner after next year's election would agree to it.

Wednesday's decision appears to reflect a desire among some CDU members for a sharper conservative profile. Merkel has sought to satisfy that by promising that last year's huge migrant influx won't be repeated, backing both a partial ban on face-covering veils and calls for tougher rules on deportation.