Europe

German ministers discuss security response to Berlin attack

Germany's Interior Minister Thomas de Maizi're, left, and Justice Minister Heiko Maas attend a joint news conference in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017. Germany’s interior and justice ministers agreed Tuesday to toughen the rules on deporting failed asylum-seekers and monitoring extremists in response to last month’s deadly truck attack on a Christmas market. (Bernd von Jutrczenka/dpa via AP)

Germany's Interior Minister Thomas de Maizi're, left, and Justice Minister Heiko Maas attend a joint news conference in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017. Germany’s interior and justice ministers agreed Tuesday to toughen the rules on deporting failed asylum-seekers and monitoring extremists in response to last month’s deadly truck attack on a Christmas market. (Bernd von Jutrczenka/dpa via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Germany's interior and justice ministers hope to thrash out initial plans for a response to last month's truck attack on a Christmas market, with a tougher stance expected toward suspected extremists who don't have asylum.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has said the Dec. 19 attack in Berlin demands a swift response that guarantees both security and civil liberties. Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere and Justice Minister Heiko Maas, who belong to the conservative and center-left parties respectively in Merkel's "grand coalition" of traditional rivals, plan to meet Tuesday.

The Berlin attack was carried out by a Tunisian whose asylum application had been rejected but Germany had been unable to deport because Tunisia initially wouldn't recognize him as a citizen. He also had been on authorities' radar as a potential security risk.