Differences Over Migration Policy Throw German Government Into Crisis

20 June, 2018, 01:46 | Author: Teresa Adams
  • Cracks are beginning to appear in the German political alliance over mounting immigration tensions in Europe

Merkel now faces a unsafe mutiny from her hardline Bavarian Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, who has vowed to defy her and order police to shut German borders to most asylum seekers by early July absent an European Union accord.

Merkel has insisted that an EU-wide settlement can be reached at a June 28-29 Brussels summit, and says Seehofer's plan to turn away migrants who have previously been expelled would prejudice her chances of reaching that deal.

In his previous job as Bavarian governor, Seehofer was one of the leading critics of Merkel's decision in 2015 to leave Germany's borders open as migrants streamed across the Balkans.

"We know that an economic and monetary union can only remain intact if economic policies converge", she said, adding that euro zone reform was the toughest issue in the talks, which also touched on European foreign and defense policy and immigration.

Merkel's supporters argue that turning back migrants unilaterally would simply dump the problem on Mediterranean countries such as Italy and Greece, which would also weaken the European Union itself.

Furthermore, although asylum seekers registered in another EU country do not have the right to claim asylum in Germany under German law, that legislation is superseded by EU rules, which stipulate that every EU country must check which state is responsible for an asylum seeker, rather than sending him or her back across the border.

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The port of Hodeida is a vital gateway to getting food and other aid to a significant number of these people. The coalition has blocked most ports, letting supplies into Hodeida in co-ordination with the U.N.

If Merkel fails to find a solution by the end of the month, her leadership may be called into question and may be forced to step down altogether, creating a major political crisis in the EU's most powerful economy.

"Again! Trump just repeated his false claim that crime in Germany is up due to immigration".

The CSU's top priority is a hard October state election in Bavaria in which it is trying to tamp down support for the anti-migration Alternative for Germany party. "Big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture!" he tweeted.

The rebel minister is leader of the Christian Social Union in Bavaria, whose parent party is Mrs Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said yesterday (18 June) she wanted to support Italy in its efforts to reduce the number of migrants arriving on its shores, possibly handling asylum requests for Europe in non-European countries including Libya.

Meanwhile, Mrs Merkel is in a different migration dispute with her interior minister, Horst Seehofer.

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Merkel said the two also agreed to enhance the effectiveness of the European Stability Mechanism, or ESM, which was established in 2012 to provide eurozone nations access to financial assistance in the event of crisis.

President Trump tweeted Monday morning that "Crime in Germany is way up" because of immigration to the country.

Merkel told reporters she was still convinced that Europe needed to work together to combat the causes of the refugee flow by helping improve conditions in the countries of origin while at the same time increasing security at Europe's outer borders and cracking down on smugglers.

Bavarian governor Markus Soeder and the party's top federal lawmaker, Alexander Dobrindt, have been even more vehement than Seehofer in demanding immediate action on migration.

Watch the press conference live in the player above. She said her party will consider the results on July 1 "and decide how to proceed in light of what has been achieved". "If we want to defend our liberal democracy, we need more Europe, not less".

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