Merkel's German Coalition on Verge of Collapse Because of Refugee Crisis
03 July, 2018, 00:46 | Author: Edward Snyder
A almost eight-hour meeting of the CSU in Munich was put on hold after the party's leader, interior minister Horst Seehofer, made his offer to resign both from Mrs Merkel's Cabinet and as head of the CSU.
Merkel's centre-right CDU party and its conservative Bavarian CSU allies are holding separate meetings to weigh the results of last week's European Union summit, which agreed collective measures by the bloc's 28 members to reduce immigration.
She refused to comment on any speculative questions related to her asylum policy and the government crisis, preferring to wait until the CDU and CSU had concluded their talks.
Leaders from both Mr Seehofer's CSU and Merkel's Christian Democrats spent tonight in crunch talks, attempting to settle an increasingly personal row that threatens to bring down her three-month-old government.
Horst Seehofer, leader of the CSU, a key party in Mrs Merkel's coalition, has grown increasingly angry at her position on immigration.
Though the master plan remains unpublished, it emerged on Sunday evening that Seehofer had handed it out at the CSU meeting, though it had not been made available to the CDU leadership in Berlin.
Speaking to ZDF television on Sunday, Merkel said her proposal for "anchor centres" to process migrants at Germany's borders and other European Union nations agreeing to take back people who had applied for asylum in their countries "has the same effect" as what the CSU wants.
Patzelt says he doesn't see any solution to the situation unless both of them see reason: "I can hardly imagine any wording of compromise which would avoid one of them losing the face". Before that, a joint session of the CSU and CDU parliamentary groups is scheduled to take place, although there was some doubt whether it would go ahead.
Merkel and Seehofer are due to meet later in the day.
At the national level, Merkel also proposed that migrants arriving in Germany who first registered in another European Union country should be placed in special "admissions centers" under restrictive conditions, according to a document she sent to the CSU and the Socialists.
The CSU exists only in Bavaria, the CDU in Germany's 15 other states.
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Its success was based on strident anti-immigration rhetoric, attacking Mrs Merkel's decision to let in more than a million asylum seekers in 2015-2016.
"We want to continue to reduce the number of migrants coming to Germany", she said.
The CSU, which faces a regional election in Bavaria in October, has recently sharpened its criticism of Merkel's open-door policy for refugees, and argued that Germany should not wait for other European Union member states, and move forward with unilateral measures to stop irregular migration.
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