Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Merkel gets 2-week deadline in German migrant row

German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a news conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg after a meeting at the chancellery in Berlin Friday Ahead of Macron meeting, Merkel insists migration needs 'European answer'
Ellis Copeland | 21 June, 2018, 15:04

But he said the aim should be a "consensual solution" and wrote that it was "of decisive significance that the European Union summit at the end of June finally makes decisions that recognize Germany's burdens in migrant policy". However the dispute ends, it has exposed her government's fragility at a hard time for the continent.

Amid widespread calls for Merkel to sack Seehofer anyway, particularly if she wanted to retain her credibility, Jan Korte of the far-left Die Linke party said: "This Rambo in lederhosen needs to be stopped".

Merkel herself is facing a showdown with her own hardline interior minister after his call for turning back undocumented migrants at German borders and speeding up ejections of rejected asylum seekers.

Merkel was reportedly planning to contact all her European Union counterparts over the next few days in the hope of striking a series of bilateral deals, ahead of a crucial European Union summit at the end of June at which she hopes to come to an agreement to end the impasse.

In her fourth term at the helm of Europe's largest economy, Merkel made it clear that she has no intention of being pushed around after an internal power struggle over immigration escalated into a threat to her government.

But it is not granted she will be able to save her leadership with the help of the EU.

With an eye on October's Bavaria state election, the CSU is anxious to assure voters that it has a roadmap to curb the migrant influx.

Instead, she wants to find a common European solution at the EU summit in Brussels.

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In her weekly video message Saturday, Merkel named migration as one of four major challenges to be addressed by German and French leaders when she meets Macron in Germany on Tuesday along with ministers from both governments. She said her party will consider the results on July 1 "and decide how to proceed in light of what has been achieved". "Today there is a real choice of society, even civilisation that is up for discussion".

Merkel wants Germany to abide by European rules concerning immigrants while her government colleagues are demanding that Germany close the borders to New immigrants which some say would cause chaos on the European continent as also spell disaster for the Euro. "We will fight for that, and on this point there's no latitude for the chancellor." he added.

"We're hoping to obtain a maximum of agreements on Tuesday, and in late June", a source in the French presidency told AFP.

But the interior minister was forced to cancel a planned presentation of his vision after Merkel disagreed with his proposal to turn some asylum seekers away at the borders, sparking last week's dramatic escalation of discord within the conservative bloc.

In Brussels, the European Union asylum office said Monday the number of people applying for worldwide protection in Europe plunged previous year but remains higher than before 2015, when more than 1 million migrants entered, many fleeing the war in Syria.

Rightwingers in her delicate governing coalition-as well as several northern European countries-remain hostile to France's push for a common eurozone budget, fearing taxpayers could foot the bill for fiscal irresponsibility in southern EU states.

If Seehofer were to defy her and go ahead with his plans on Monday, Merkel would nearly certainly be forced to fire him.

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