Migrant Drama Could Spell End for Globalist Merkel
For years, tensions have mounted in Germany over what many consider an excessively generous – even dangerously naive – refugee policy as illegal immigration poses an unprecedented challenge for the European Union.
Now, Merkel's refusal to endorse a plan by her conservative ministers to adopt stricter immigration controls has set the stage for a showdown that could send her nearly 13-year-old coalition government toppling down. (Politico)
The dispute ostensibly revolves around the question of whether Germany should turn back refugees who have applied for asylum in other EU countries. Merkel opposes the policy on the grounds it could hasten the collapse of Europe’s system of open frontiers by forcing Germany’s neighbors to reimpose border controls.
The root of the dispute has less to do with that narrow question, however, than with Merkel’s broader refugee policy, which the CSU [a conservative party with its strongest roots in Bavaria] has resisted from the beginning.
Bavaria, Germany’s southernmost state, has been the point of entry for most of the refugees who arrived in the country in recent years. As the influx intensified, CSU leaders prodded Merkel to enforce stricter border controls, going as far as threatening to petition Germany’s constitutional court to force her hand.
In the end, Merkel acquiesced, but the bad blood between the chancellor and CSU leader Horst Seehofer, who once called Merkel’s refugee policy a “capitulation,” remained.
Even outside Southern Germany, most Germans don't trust Merkel to resolve the migrant crisis. Roughly two-thirds agree with the conservatives position to turn away refugees at the border.
Such polling appears to have emboldened the political right to take a harder line and directly confront the chancellor.