German official: Need to streamline migrant policy, but can cope with influx

Germany's new government coordinator for refugees and other migrants says the country can cope with the flood of newcomers, but must streamline its systems for dealing with them.

Peter Altmaier, Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief of staff who was this month put in charge of the government response to an influx expected to exceed 800,000 this year, told Bild newspaper Sunday that Germany "won't turn its back" on anyone in need and must reduce bureaucracy and speed up the asylum process. He says Germany also needs to quickly send home those not truly needing asylum.

Meantime, Bavarian Governor Horst Seehofer defended his criticism of Merkel's migrant policy, telling Die Welt newspaper it "has nothing to do with racism and xenophobia" but that "the current influx has overwhelmed us."