European Union tries to assuage German, Italian concerns on migration

Merkel is sticking to her guns maintaining an open-door migrant policy is crucial for keeping Europe united
Merkel is sticking to her guns maintaining an open-door migrant policy is crucial for keeping Europe united
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22 June, 2018

German Chancellor Angela Merkel uses her mobile device as she waits for the arrival of the Prime Minister of Italy Giuseppe Conte, prior to talks at the chancellery in Berlin, Monday, June 18, 2018.

Her interior minister, Horst Seehofer, has been calling for Germany to turn back migrants at the border who have previously applied for asylum or registered as asylum-seekers in other European countries.

This unilateral approach, a reversal of her 2015 open-door policy, would undermine Merkel's authority and be a blow to the EU's Schengen open-border system. His party holds a leadership meeting Monday which could authorize Seehofer to push through his demand.

Citing government sources from representatives of several European Union states, top-selling Bild reported on its website that Merkel wanted to discuss possible solutions with Greece, Italy and Austria.

On Sunday, June 17, the newspaper Bild, reports RIA Novosti.

But the interior minister was forced to cancel a planned presentation of his vision after Merkel disagreed with his proposal to turn some asylum seekers away at the borders, sparking last week's dramatic escalation of discord within the conservative bloc.

Some political analysts have speculated that the CSU manufactured the showdown with Merkel in an attempt to mobilize right-wing voters ahead of critical Bavarian state elections in October.

Earlier this month, Merkel made some concessions, agreeing to support Macron's call for an investment fund to help poorer European countries catch up in the areas of science, technology and innovation.

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She said there would be no "automatic action" and issued a warning that she was in charge of implementing measures - a thinly veiled threat that she can sack him if he goes his own way.

Mike Mohring, the CDU leader in the eastern state of Thuringia, told the daily Die Welt that he expects the CSU to give Merkel two weeks to find a European solution.

"We just want to finally have a sustainable solution to send refugees back to the borders". "But we stand by our position that, if this does not succeed, turning people back immediately at the border must be possible".

The sum will be a "real budget with annual revenues and spending", said French President Emmanuel Macron after talks with the German leader, adding that Paris and Berlin hoped to have it in place by 2021. The two conservative parties govern Germany in a coalition with the centre-left Social Democrats.

The plan foresees turning away asylum-seekers at Germany's border if they entered the European Union from another member state and first registered there.

A surge in asylum seekers crossing European Union borders since 2015 dramatically exposed the inadequacy of the bloc's asylum rules and practices, feeding support for populist movements that have helped bring about regime changes in states including Austria and most recently Italy.

Finally, they said victims of crime are twice as likely to report incidents if they are committed by people who are different from them, distorting the statistics. Around 30 per cent came from conflict-torn countries such as Syria and Iraq.


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