German lawmaker wants to make it easier to deport 'preachers of hate'

August 31, 2016 11:36 PM EDT

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BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany should change its law to make it easier to deport "preachers of hate" and other potentially dangerous individuals, a senior member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party said on Thursday.

Stephan Mayer, security spokesman for the Christian Democratic party in parliament, told the Passauer Neue Presse newspaper that Germany had made strides in its fight against Islamist militants but that more work was needed, including steps to increase deportations of potential attackers.

Mayer said Italy had deported 102 "preachers of hate" since January 1, 2015, people who had not been convicted but were in the process of self-radicalization.

"We should change our residency requirements in this same direction," Mayer told the newspaper. "We should deport more rigorously, like Bavaria, which is a real role model for the other states." Mayer is a member of the Bavaria-based Christian Social Union (CSU), which is allied with Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) but has been critical of her open-door refugee policy.

Merkel, speaking at a news conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Wednesday, also addressed the need to step up deportations of those migrants denied asylum in Germany and elsewhere.

Germany deported about 16,000 migrants whose asylum applications had been rejected from January to the end of July, compared with 21,000 deportations in all of 2015, and some 35,000 migrants accepted financial incentives and left voluntarily.

By the end of July, there were about 215,000 people who were supposed to leave, although 163,000 were being allowed to stay for humanitarian reasons, government data showed.

A spokesman for the Interior Ministry said improvements were needed despite a sharp increase in the rate of deportations.

Mayer said Germany should also increase surveillance of the dozens of Germany's 2,000-plus mosques that taught a radical form of Islam and stop allowing those institutions to import clerics from Arab countries. Europe should also accelerate data-sharing among intelligence agencies, he said.

The two conservative parties will discuss security measures during a two-day conference that begins in Berlin on Thursday.

A position paper prepared for the conference calls for Germany to increase funding for its part in the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State militant group.

The one-time sum of 100 million euros earmarked for that fight should be continued indefinitely, and even increased, according to the paper, a copy of which was seen by Reuters.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal, Andreas Rinke and Thorsten Severin; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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