Germany cites terrorismas visa rules tighten

18th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

18 October 2004, BERLIN - The German Foreign Ministry has tightened visa regulations in reaction to this year's Madrid train bombings and the 11 September 2001 attacks on the United States, officials confirmed on Monday.

18 October 2004

BERLIN - The German Foreign Ministry has tightened visa regulations in reaction to this year's Madrid train bombings and the 11 September 2001 attacks on the United States, officials confirmed on Monday.

German diplomats will in the future take a more proactive stance in considering whether people seeking visas to visit Germany are likely to abuse the terms of the visa - or carry out illegal acts, the officials said.

Dubbed the "Chrobog Regulation" - after deputy foreign minister Juergen Chrobog - the tough, new rules will be implemented in all the German embassies and consulates in the coming weeks.

"If there is any doubt that a visa applicant may fail to return to their country of origin ... the visa will not be issued," said Chrobog in a Focus news magazine interview.

The new guidelines replace the previous and far more liberal "Volmer Regulation", named after former Greens deputy foreign minister Ludger Volmer.

Tighter German visa controls follow a scandal involving lax handing out visas in some embassies and even allegations of visas being sold by a few corrupt embassy staff members.

About 1,000 visas were given to Ukrainians by the German embassy in Kiev after falsified invitations to Germany were accepted by diplomats.

Another incident occurred in Albania where two German diplomats have been accused of corruption linked to the issuing of visas.

The German Foreign Ministry has also come under fire for granting visas to presumed Islamists, despite security checks. This problem has been observed in Sri Lanka, China, Russia and Mongolia, said a report in the newspaper Die Welt.

Opposition Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) say the new regulations are insufficient to deal with the threat posed by international terrorism.

DPA

Subject: German news

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