Trump insists crime increased in Germany 'since migrants were accepted'
Trump insists crime increased in Germany 'since migrants were accepted'
The German chancellor is facing a challenge from her hardline interior minister
20 June, 2018, 01:51
German Chancellor Angela Merkel could soon be "heading home as a private citizen" due to conservative pushback over the country's lax immigration and border security policies, columnist Tom Rogan explained Monday.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel grimaces at a press conference with France's President Emmanuel Macron after a meeting in the guest house of the German government in Meseberg north of Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, June 19, 2018.
But Seehofer, long one of the fiercest critics of Merkel's liberal refugee policy, said Germany must change direction on immigration.
At a meeting of the CSU leadership in Munich, the Bavarian party agreed to push for a policy on turning away migrants who had earlier been banned from Germany to be implemented immediately, but postponed until after an European Union summit at the end of June a ban on the previously registered, officials said.
The German government said no special EU summit is planned, and that would be a matter for EU leaders in Brussels, but "of course the German government is holding talks with various member states and the (EU) Commission" about immigration in Europe.
At the heart of the dispute is a pledge by Seehofer to reverse the open-door policy toward migrants that the chancellor adopted in the summer of 2015, when she agreed that anyone seeking asylum could enter Germany. The CSU's share of the vote in Bavaria dropped 10.5 percentage points to 38.8 percent, with Alternative for Germany a major beneficiary. Crime actually fell in 2017 by 9.6 percent in Germany, with violent crime falling 2.4 percent, according to Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office.
The architect of the division is her interior minister, Horst Seehofer of the Christian Social Union (CSU) - the Bavarian sister party to Merkel's own Christian Democratic Union (CDU).
"We believe that the CDU and the CSU share the common goal to better steer migration into our country and to significantly reduce the number of people arriving here, so that a situation like in 2015 does not and can not be repeated,"said the Chancellor".
"A situation like 2015 can not and will not be repeated".
Merkel also distanced herself from plans of turning away migrants at the border, saying that such a move "could lead to negative domino effects" in Europe. It would also gravely weaken the CSU, whose dominance of Bavarian politics relies on its influence in Berlin.
That would be "the end of the government and the alliance between CDU and CSU", an unnamed CDU source told Bild.
Arriving for talks with Merkel on Monday evening, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte stressed that his country can not be left alone to deal with the influx.
The sharp escalation of tensions between Merkel and her long-time Bavarian allies came with European Union nations once again at loggerheads over immigration, triggered by Italy's refusal this month to allow a rescue ship carrying 630 migrants to dock. "Or they are unable to and we will return, and I don't hesitate to say so, to turbulent times for the eurozone and for the European Union more widely".
Italy's new hardline interior minister Matteo Salvini said Sunday that "common sense" was needed to stop the country from being "Europe's refugee camp" as he visited a migrant centre in the south.
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