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German Chancellor Angela Merkel is fresh off one of the most contentious elections she’s ever faced. After hanging onto her office for another term, Merkel struggled to put together a governing coalition, with most of her opposition citing her open border policies and support of EU mandates regarding the absorption of millions of migrants, mainly from Syria and Iraq. The formerly loyal Christian Social Union, a Bavarian party which traditionally had aligned with Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, began to revolt last year. Their leader, Horst Seehofer, took the position of Interior Minister in March of this year and was tasked with coming up with some answers to the refugee problem. That hasn’t happened yet but Seehofer is once again at odds with Merkel after publically calling for some migrants to be turned away at the border. (Fox News)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel sought Tuesday to defuse a standoff with her interior minister over his calls to turn back some migrants at the border, while insisting that Berlin shouldn’t take unilateral action.
Horst Seehofer became interior minister in March, promising a “master plan” on migration issues. That was supposed to be presented Tuesday, but Seehofer canceled it on Monday in a spat that revived tensions dating back to the influx of more than a million migrants in 2015-2016…
As part of a wider plan to streamline the handling of migrants, Seehofer advocates turning back at the German border asylum-seekers previously registered in another European Union country. Merkel wants European solutions to migration issues and is wary of Germany taking such action, potentially increasing pressure on countries such as Italy and Greece.
Under Seehofer’s proposal, Germany could drastically reduce the number of migrants they have to take in. By insisting that refugees be returned to “the first European country they were registered in,” the Germans would only need to accept those who had somehow traveled undetected through Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia, Hungary or other nations if they took the land route to Europe. What the Christian Social Union seems to be doing is looking for a technicality where they can avoid the hopscotch effect of migrants touring through one country after another, attempting to reach Germany where the social benefits system is far more generous.
This remains an ongoing political nightmare for Merkel. She may have secured another term in office, but the attitude of her citizens hasn’t really changed. A study published just this past January found that a more than ten percent increase in violent crime in Germany was almost entirely attributed to young Syrian migrants taking up residence in the southern part of the nation. At the same time, three-quarters of the refugees are projected to be unemployed and living off government benefits for years to come. Too many of the new arrivals are utterly failing to assimilate into German culture, learn the language or embrace the nation’s values.
Small wonder that most Germans still want an answer other than the one Merkel is offering. You should expect to see growing support for Horst Seehofer’s proposal in the weeks to come.
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