Let police shoot migrants - German politician

4:30 pm on 31 January 2016

The leader of a right-wing populist party in Germany has caused outrage by saying police should be allowed to shoot at migrants trying to enter the country illegally.

Frauke Petry, chairman of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party at an October  2015 press conference  in Berlin.

Frauke Petry, chair of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. Photo: AFP

Head of the eurosceptic, anti-immigration party Alternativ fuer Deutschland (AfD), Frauke Petry, said firearms should be available to be used by police as a last resort.

Mr Petry told a regional newspaper: "I don't want this either. But the use of armed force is there as a last resort."

Police must stop migrants crossing illegally from Austria, Ms Petry told the Mannheimer Morgen newspaper (in German), and "if necessary" use firearms.

"That is what the law says," she added.

Her comments were condemned by leftwing parties and by the German police union.

A prominent member of the centre-left Social Democrats, Thomas Oppermann, said: "The last German politician under whom refugees were shot at was Erich Honecker", referring to the leader of Communist East Germany.

Germany's police union, the Gewerkschaft der Polizei, said officers would never shoot at migrants.

It said Ms Petry's comments revealed a radical and inhumane mentality.

The number of attacks on refugee accommodation in Germany rose to 1,005 last year - five times more than in 2014.

More than 1.1 million migrants arrived in Germany last year.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said most migrants from Syria and Iraq would go home once the wars in their countries had ended.

She told a conference of her centre-right CDU party that tougher measures adopted last week should reduce the influx of migrants, but a European solution was still needed.

Migrants and refugees try to keep warm by a fire as they wait for a train after crossing the Macedonian border into Serbia on January 29, 2016 near the town of Presevo.

Migrants and refugees in Serbia wait for a train to take them towards western Europe. Photo: AFP

-BBC