Justice minister pushes for faster asylum system

Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga is determined to speed up the asylum procedure “massively”, despite criticism from the political left.

This content was published on August 27, 2011 - 11:20

In an interview with the Tages-Anzeiger and Bund newspapers on Saturday, Sommaruga, herself a member of the centre-left Social Democratic Party, spoke of reforms lasting many years.

“Our asylum process today takes on average 1,400 days – that is much too long. A report I commissioned demonstrated that starkly,” she said.

This long waiting time meant the asylum process had a credibility problem among the population, she added.

Sommaruga said she was prepared to shorten the period dramatically, but pointed out the need for extended legal protection.

Overall there are about 38,000 applicants in Switzerland – three times fewer than in the late 1990s following the breakup of the former Yugoslavia.

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