Germany to refuse migrants from July if no European deal found: minister

Roman Schwartz
June 19, 2018

German Chancellor Angela Merkel accepted a two-week deadline to win agreement on tougher migration policy, a concession to her Bavarian coalition partner that eases an immediate standoff without removing the threat of further government tension down the road.

Seehofer's "migration master plan", which Merkel last week refused to endorse, would see asylum seekers arriving at Germany's borders turned away if they have no identification papers, have already had an asylum claim rejected in Germany, or are already registered in another country in the EU - proposals that rights group say contravene European and worldwide agreements. Merkel opposes such a ban.

President Donald Trump on Monday continued to falsely blame Democrats for his own administration's immigration policies with an angry Twitter rant that demanded changes to USA immigration laws.

Merkel must now attempt to forge a deal by an EU summit on Thursday and Friday next week, and report back to her Christian Democratic Union on July 1. That banished - if only for now - the spectre of Seehofer pushing through his proposal in defiance of the chancellor, which would risk bringing down her government.

In a last-ditch bid to avert a crisis, Merkel had last week asked the CSU to give her two weeks to come up with bilateral migrant deals with partners, such as Italy and Greece, similar to one agreed between Turkey and the European Union in 2016.

"We wish the chancellor much luck", Seehofer told a news conference in Munich, announcing that he would nonetheless issue orders for people who have already been expelled to be turned back at the borders.

It's the first time Trump has openly criticised Germany's immigration policy since he took office past year, although he was previously critical of their immigration policy during the presidential campaign when he called Angela Merkel's decision to leave the country's borders open to Syrian refugees as "insane".

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.

They pointed out that Germany's crime rate is at its lowest since 1992, according to Interior Ministry figures released last month.

42 migrants saved by US Navy to Italy (3) - English
SOS Mediterranee posted footage on Twitter of migrants dancing and singing as they viewed the Spanish coast. The 270 migrants on board soon began to disembark after medical staff had made a preliminary inspection.

He added: "Big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture!"

The case of a German teenager who was believed to have been stabbed to death in a supermarket by her Afghan asylum seeker boyfriend is due to be heard in court on Monday. Germany has taken in well over one million refugees in the past four years, with the number peaking at an estimated 890,000 in 2015.

"The overwhelming majority of the German population supports this idea and this concept, and that's why we want to provide support today for implementing it", he said.

"A situation like 2015 can not and will not be repeated". 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.

If Merkel fails to find a solution by the end of the month, her leadership may be called into question and may be forced to step down altogether, creating a major political crisis in the EU's most powerful economy.

But the rest of the European Union is now engaged in an unseemly squabble over refugees as the new anti-immigrant Italian government has drawn the ire of Prime Minister Macron of France by refusing docking rights to a refugee ship.

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.

Trump's criticism and Seehofer's insubordination might strengthen Merkel's hand and bring the European Union closer to a common policy on migration and refugees.

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