GERMAN EFFICIENCY OVERRATED

A far-right soldier makes fools of German officialdom.

Posing as a Damascus fruit seller, army lieutenant Franco Albrecht, 28, had managed to gain asylum in his home country, obtaining a space in a shelter and monthly benefits of €409 ($447) even though he speaks no Arabic, investigations found.

Officials say Albrecht – who harboured far-right, anti-immigrant views – was plotting an attack that he planned to blame on refugees.

The case, which came to light last week, has sparked an outcry in Germany, where scepticism was already running high over the authorities’ ability to competently handle the record influx of refugees.

It adds fuel to criticism of the asylum bureaucracy raised by activists and legal experts over recent months.

The problems are as you’d expect:

With tens of thousands of refugees arriving in Germany every week in the summer of 2015, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) suddenly found itself drowning in a flood of new files.

Within a few months, BAMF, which is tasked with interviewing asylum applicants and deciding on their requests, had to recruit many more staff, more than doubling its employees from 3,000 to 7,300.

Management accountants, geography experts and even army soldiers were drafted in to fill the gap.

And training given to new case officers was drastically shortened to as little as 10 days from 14 weeks.

Continue reading about the Angela Merkel-created chaos.

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