German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere warned Saturday that Berlin's generous offer of benefits for asylum seekers was a siren call for migrants.
"The benefits for refugees in Germany are quite high compared to other EU countries. This is part of the pull effect towards Germany," de Maiziere, a close ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel, said in an interview with the Rheinische Post regional daily.
Under Merkel's impetus, Germany welcomed more than a million asylum seekers in 2015 and 2016, all of them ushered in by Maiziere's interior ministry.
His comments on Saturday, two weeks ahead of legislative elections, were roundly criticised by the far-left Die Linke party and the German Greens.