Creit: Reuters/ F. Bensch
Creit: Reuters/ F. Bensch

A Bavarian official known as a "tough dog" for taking a harder line against asylum-seekers is reportedly set to take over at BAMF. The agency's former head was fired on Friday over an asylum application scandal.

Hans-Eckhard Sommer, a Bavarian ally of Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, is set to take over as head of Germany's embattled Federal Office of Migration and Refugees (BAMF), German media reported on Sunday.

News outlet Focus Online and the DPA news agency reported the move, citing anonymous government sources. The German Interior Ministry in Berlin said it would not "speculate" about personnel decisions.

Read more: Germany's Horst Seehofer fires head of BAMF migrant and refugee agency

Sommer, reportedly known as a "harter Hund" (tough dog) in government circles, is currently responsible for foreigner and asylum law at the regional Interior Ministry in the southern state of Bavaria. He favors stronger screening of refugees' possible terrorist connections and speeding up deportations of failed asylum-seekers, according to Focus Online.

Former BAMF head Jutta Cordt was fired on Friday | Credit: pocture-alliance/dpa/B. von Jutrcenka

BAMF scandal in Bremen

BAMF, which processes asylum applications for the federal Interior Ministry, has been at the center of a scandal after it emerged that its office in the northwestern city of Bremen had improperly approved 1,200 asylum applications from 2013 to 2016. A recent investigation indicates however that the number of improper approvals was lower than initially reported.

Read more: Glossary of terms: asylum, refugees, migration

Germany's hard-line interior minister, Horst Seehofer, fired former BAMF chief Jutta Cordt on Friday. She had only been in the position since 2017.

Seehofer heads the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister party of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

He and Merkel have been at loggerheads in recent days over Seehofer's call to turn back most refugees at the German border, a move Merkel opposes in favor of a Europe-wide solution.


Author: amp/rc (dpa, AFP, KNA, epd)

First published: June 17, 2018

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