German Cabinet OKs measures to speed up migrant handling

The German Cabinet has approved a package of measures meant to help speed up handling migrants and cut the number of newcomers.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition last week agreed on the package, which involves using special centers to quickly progress migrants who have little realistic chance of winning asylum. It means some Syrians may have to wait longer to bring relatives to Germany.

The government also plans to declare Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia safe countries of origin, making it easier to return migrants to those countries — something Germany already did last year for several Balkan nations.

Parliamentary approval is still required following the Cabinet's decision Wednesday. Germany registered nearly 1.1 million people as asylum-seekers last year and is keen to ensure that this year's numbers are lower.