Saturday, 20 October, 2018


Embattled Merkel draws up new measures to tackle migration

Embattled Merkel draws up new measures to tackle migration Embattled Merkel draws up new measures to tackle migration
Bennie Garza | 03 July, 2018, 05:35

Horst Seehofer offered to quit his ministerial post and the chairmanship of the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) at a marathon party meeting on Sunday to discuss whether immigration proposals Merkel brought back from Brussels last week were acceptable.

Facing a state election in October, the Bavaria-only CSU hopes to win back votes eroded by the anti-migration Alternative fuer Deutschland and prevent the bordering state from being further impacted by migration.

Whether the two conservative parties would be able to get Merkel's junior coalition partner, the centre-left Social Democratic Party, to agree also was an open question.

After the Bavarians' relentless pressure on Merkel, European leaders on Friday agreed to new measures to reduce immigration to the bloc and so-called "secondary migration" of asylum-seekers between countries.

Seehofer made no comment to reporters as he arrived at Monday's meeting in Berlin.

"As a result Italy will be in the position to have really good reasons for no longer accepting any people coming to Italy by the Mediterranean", Patzelt says, adding that this would be exactly the result the CSU intends.

In the interview, Merkel said she regretted any misunderstandings, but that she had been given "political commitments", and had not said any deals had been signed. And he insisted the CSU isn't questioning the government's stability and doesn't want to break up the CDU-CSU partnership.

The AfD surged into the German parliament (Bundestag) for the first time a year ago, winning 94 seats.

Merkel has rejected that approach, saying Germany needs to address migration more broadly to preserve European Union unity.

It is not clear what effect Mr Seehofer's resignation could have on Mrs Merkel's government, which has looked increasingly precarious during the three-week standoff. Nationally the party would be down to 5% - the threshold for entering the Bundestag - rather than 6.2% before.

The conflict between Angela Merkel and her Interior Minister Horst Seehofer is so severe that either she loses face or they both lose their jobs and Germany is without a chancellor, political scientist Werner J. Patzelt told RT.

But the CSU and CDU together form a centre-right force that has dominated national politics for decades.

Mrs Merkel stayed up with European Union leaders until dawn on Friday to clinch a new deal on migrants.

She reiterated her determination to act in a way that was "not unilateral and that are not to the detriment of third parties" - highlighting her continued opposition to Seehofer's demand to turn back refugees at the border.

But the two emerged from about five hours of talks saying they agreed to establish "transit centres" on Germany's border with Austria where asylum-seekers would be evaluated and, if it turned out they already had applied for protection in another European Union country, sent back to that country.

"We can achieve a lot in a government, but not outside", Soeder said.

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