Germany’s right give Merkel an immigration ultimatum

Randal Sanchez
June 20, 2018

Merkel therefore needs to balance Seehofer's demands to turn away migrants who have been registered in another European Union country - often Italy or Greece as their first port of call - with the frontline nations' call for solidarity.

In an interesting fact, recent data released by German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, the man who is actually the leader of the immigration-skeptical members of Merkel's cabinet, shows that crime in Germany has fallen to it's lowest rate since 1992.

Merkel has pointed to a June 28-29 European Union summit at which migration will be a key topic as she insists on holding talks with other countries about it.

Seehofer entered Merkel's government as the interior minister, promising a "master plan" to tackle migration.

"We are, broadly speaking, opening a new chapter", Merkel said at a joint news conference with Macron after their meeting at Meseberg castle outside Berlin.

US President Donald Trump, defending his own tough anti-immigrant polices, waded into Germany's debate on Monday with a series of tweets criticising Merkel's open-border policy as a "big mistake" that had fuelled crime in Europe.

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If that were to happen, Mayer says, Merkel would have the authority to fire Seehofer.

In addressing further combating the migration crisis, Merkel noted Germany would bar migrants who are already registered in other European nations. Earlier, Merkel argued against the current proposal by saying Berlin can't unilaterally shut its borders.

But Merkel is firmly opposed, warning that it would leave countries at the EU's geographic southern periphery alone to deal with the migrant influx.

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Angela Merkel's leadership is under threat after her alliance partner gave her two weeks to agree to turn away refugees at Germany's borders.

"She believes such a unilateral act goes against European principles and intends to seek an EU-wide solution", adds the BBC.

The arrival of more than a million asylum seekers to Germany since 2015 has deeply divided the country and propelled the far-right AfD into parliament for the first time in September's general election.

President Donald Trump warned Monday that the United States must avoid the immigration problems facing Europe and he attacked the policies of Germany, one of the United States' closest allies. However the dispute ends, it has exposed her government's fragility at a hard time for the continent.

Central and eastern European Union nations such as Hungary and Poland have either refused outright or resisted taking in refugees under an European Union quota system, and Austria has also taken an uncompromising stance.

Keen not to increase burdens on German taxpayers, Merkel has indicated she would prefer a euro zone budget in the "tens of billions" rather than Macron's idea of hundreds of billions of euros for investments.

"It would be nearly a miracle if she emerges a victor from the next European Union summit", Die Welt, a German daily, said.

Alternatively, if the CSU splits from the CDU and becomes an opposition party, the governing coalition would be left with 353 seats, one short of a majority, potentially triggering the collapse of the government.

The meeting in Berlin followed a week of political upheaval in Germany and the rest of Europe in response to mass migration into the EU.

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