GETTYGermany's policy on migrants could cost Angela Merkel her job
The shocking killing has reignited a political dispute over refugee policy in the country ahead of parliamentary elections in September, with Mrs Merkel hoping to secure a fourth term in office.
A 26-year-old Palestinian man living in a city refugee home has been identified as the sole suspect in the Hamburg attack.
He was awaiting deportation following a failed asylum application in December.Related articles
The issue of migrants has long been a losing battle for the Merkel administration, since the country opened its borders more than two years ago.
The association of towns and communities, which represents local German authorities, has called on Berlin officials to pay more attention to how failed asylum seekers are dealt with.
The group has also called for closer monitoring of those considered potentially dangerous, insisting that they should be kept under closer centralised supervision instead of being allowed to live in private housing or smaller refugee centres.
GETTYChancellor Angela Merkel is hoping for a fourth term in office in the September election
Gerd Landsberg, the association’s managing director, said: “We believe that suspects under orders to leave the country should not live normally in the community or in [local] refugee homes, but in central facilities run by the regional authorities or by the federal government.
“Local authorities are of the view that those who are under orders to leave but do not depart, must be deported. That secures acceptance in the population for refugees who obtain rights to stay.”
The centralised facilities advocated by the group would entail the use of larger, more security facilities, like army barracks, similar to those in Bamberg, Bavaria which currently serves as a holding centre for Balkan migrants ahead of their deportation.