Breaking News
0

Defiant Merkel backs Europe migrant policy as Bavaria row simmers

EconomyJun 16, 2018 10:40AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Merkel, Seehofer talk in Berlin

By Madeline Chambers

BERLIN (Reuters) - Migrant policy requires a European solution, German Chancellor Angela Merkel insisted on Saturday, ceding no ground in a showdown with her Bavarian allies that threatens her three-month-old coalition government.

The row is over Merkel's rejection of plans by Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, from Bavaria, for Germany unilaterally to send back migrants who have registered in other European Union countries.

Such a reversal of her 2015 open-door migrant policy would be a huge blow to the authority of Merkel, in power for more than 12 years, and undermine the Schengen open-border system at a time when EU tensions over migration are running high.

In her weekly podcast, three days before talks between Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, the chancellor hammered home her stance:

"This is a European challenge that also needs a European solution. And I view this issue as decisive for keeping Europe together," she said.

Merkel wants two weeks to try to strike bilateral deals with partners, such as Italy and Greece, on migrants - possibly similar to one struck between the EU and Turkey in 2016 - and to make progress at a June 28-29 EU summit on an EU-wide policy.

Seehofer's Christian Social Union (CSU), facing a tough state vote in October, doesn't want to wait. Members say the minister will defy Merkel on Monday if no compromise has been reached by then, and go ahead with the plans alone.

Such an affront to Merkel could force her to fire Seehofer, and there is even talk of the end of the 70-year conservative parliamentary alliance between Bavaria and Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU).

Without the CSU, the CDU and Social Democrats (SPD) - the third party in her "grand coalition" - would lack a majority.

CSU General Secretary Markus Blume told the Straubinger Tagblatt newspaper the party stood behind Seehofer. "We are at a decisive watershed in the history of this republic," he said.

Some pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) are already speculating about the possibility of a possible alliance with Merkel and the environmentalist Greens.

After the September election, Merkel had tried to forge a nationally-untested coalition with the two smaller parties, who have fundamentally differing positions, and the CSU, but failed.

'POLITICAL EARTHQUAKE'

Merkel, who has fought criticism from some CDU members who prefer the CSU's tougher line, seems to have won over a majority of her lawmakers as it dawns on them how high the stakes are.

"Dissolving the cooperation agreement would bring the end of the government coalition. That would cause a political earthquake," Ingo Senftleben, head of the CDU in the state of Brandenburg, told RND media group.

CDU budget expert Eckhardt Rehberg said the row could trigger new elections and several CDU figures called for a compromise to avoid such an outcome. It was unclear if behind-the-scenes exchanges were taking place over the weekend.

Merkel's refugee policy, which has led to more than 1.6 million migrants arriving in Germany in the last three years, is widely blamed for a surge in support for the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), which entered parliament after a September election and is the main opposition party.

Merkel also said Germany and France would try to give new momentum to EU cooperation on foreign, defense and security policy and on further developing the economic and currency union. Germany and France have promised to agree on joint proposals for euro zone reform before this month's EU summit.

Defiant Merkel backs Europe migrant policy as Bavaria row simmers
 

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email