Merkel ally proposes Europe entry ban for serious crimes

A close ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel is proposing a lifelong entry ban to Europe for asylum-seekers convicted of serious crimes.

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer told daily FrankfurterAllgemeine in an interview published Friday that such a sanction should be considered for migrants who are deported after serving their sentences.

Kramp-Karrenbauer, the general secretary of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, is one of three high-profile candidates vying to succeed her as party leader next month.

A former state governor, Kramp-Karrenbauer suggested the entry ban should cover Europe's entire 26-nation Schengen zone, where passport-free travel is possible.

Kramp-Karrenbauer cited the case of an alleged gang rape in the southwestern city of Freiburg last month, in which several Syrian men are among the suspects. The main suspect in the case was also wanted on drugs charges.

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