Germany struggles to pass North Africa 'safe countries' plan

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Germany's government is struggling to win final parliamentary approval for declaring Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia "safe countries of origin."

The lower house approved the plan, aimed at making it easier to quickly return failed asylum-seekers and to deter others from coming. However, it also needs approval from the upper house, which represents Germany's 16 state governments and votes Friday.

To pass, the plan needs to win over at least three of 10 states whose governments include the Green party, which is in opposition nationally and skeptical about the plan. Otherwise, it would go to a committee meant to resolve disputes between the chambers.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief of staff, Peter Altmaier, told ARD television Tuesday there will be "talks with all involved in the coming days and possibly beyond."