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Germany agrees 'historic' refugee integration package
by Deborah Cole
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling coalition agreed Thursday on sweeping measures to spur the integration of migrants and refugees in a "historic" first for a country that long resisted embracing immigration.
The deal, hammered out in seven hours of late-night talks between Merkel's conservative Christian Union bloc and the Social Democrats (SPD), also included plans for new anti-terror legislation.
The integration bill would take a carrot-and-stick approach, providing subsidised courses to help newcomers find their way in German life but, in some cases, denying residence permits to those who fail to take up the offer.
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