The German parliament’s lower house approved on Friday a contentious law to limit asylum applications from Georgia and three Maghreb countries Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, Reuters reports.
Some 509 German lawmakers, mostly from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative-left coalition government, voted in favor of the legislation, which declared Georgia, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia as “safe countries of origin”.
Also 138 lawmakers, mainly from the opposition Greens and the Left Party, voted against the draft law.
Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has defended government’s plan, saying that last year less than 3 percent of asylum applications from these four countries were found credible.
He said the new legislation would speed up the processing of asylum applications and enable faster deportation of illegal migrants.
The legislation still needs the approval of the upper house the Bundesrat, where the opposition Greens and Left Party are planing to block it.