What behind the crisis in Germany's government?

Daniel Fowler
June 21, 2018

Hardliners in Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative bloc on Monday gave her a two-week ultimatum to tighten asylum rules or risk pitching Germany into a political crisis that could also rattle Europe.

"We wish the chancellor much luck", Horst Seehofer, who is also German interior minister told a news conference after the CSU unanimously backed his new immigration plan.

Seehofer's CSU party is due to meet Monday to decide which course to take.

However, the facts didn't stop Trump from doubling down on the claim and insisting Merkel's government was cooking crime stats.

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.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is seeking talks with some European Union member states on migrant policy before a leaders summit at the end of the month, a government spokesman said, in a last-ditch bid to avert a coalition crisis erupting this week.

The document, whose wording might still change, is not public but was seen by Reuters before the June 28-29 European Union summit, where all 28 European Union leaders will lock horns again over migration, an issue that has bitterly divided them.

Trump, who regularly lambastes Germany in his Twitter tirades, launched an unusually pointed attack on Merkel's coalition on Monday, when as well as asserting that its migration policy was causing crime, he suggested that Merkel was on the ropes.

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The immigration showdown comes as Merkel has vowed to reject a possible proposal that would "turn away" new migrants and asylum seekers seeking to enter Germany from Syria, Libya, and other nations.

"The people of Germany are turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the already tenuous Berlin coalition". Seehofer is chairman of the CSU.

Merkel and Conte agreed on the need to beef up Frontex, the EU's external border police, and to work with global organizations to tackle the causes of migration in Africa and the Middle East, Merkel said.

The anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) accused Chancellor Angela Merkel's Bavarian allies on Tuesday of copying its tough line on dealing with migrants, as the parties vie for votes before elections in the southern state in October.

Statistics published last month showed that overall crime fell 9.6% in Germany in 2017.

"We see somewhat positive developments there", Merkel told reporters Tuesday.

Seehofer is calling for Germany to turn away immigrants who have already registered in other European Union countries, which would undermine Merkel's open door policy adopted in 2015, since when the country has welcomed some 1.6 million refugees.

On Sunday, June 17, the newspaper Bild, reports RIA Novosti. And she has stuck to her insistence that there needs to be a European-wide solution to migration issues, despite a lack of progress so far. In his previous job as Bavarian governor, Seehofer was one of the leading critics of Merkel's decision in 2015 to leave Germany's borders open as migrants streamed across the Balkans.

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