German Chancellor Angela Merkel's leadership under threat over migrant policy

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's leadership under threat over migrant policy

In Germany, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer of the CSU has been one of the fiercest critics of Merkel's liberal stance, under which a million asylum seekers have been admitted into Germany since 2015.

She asked the CSU to give her two weeks to come up with deals similar to one agreed between Turkey and the European Union in 2016, which means migrants arriving in Greece are sent back to Turkey if they do not apply for asylum.

The regulations have already admitted more than one million migrants into Germany, who are then allowed to travel to other European Union member states without restriction.

Merkel has said she is "favourable" to a French call to create a European Intervention Initiative of forces which could be deployed rapidly to deal with crises outside the framework of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

It's the first time Trump has openly criticised Germany's immigration policy since he took office previous 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".

Mr. Seehofer is a senior figure in the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister party of Ms. Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU). The CSU is determined to show that it's tough on migration, arguing that this is the best way to cut support for the anti-migration, far-right Alternative for Germany party ahead of a challenging state election in Bavaria in October.

Trump's tweets attacking Merkel's policy highlighted the emblematic role Germany has come to play in global debates on migration.

The meeting in Berlin followed a week of political upheaval in Germany and the rest of Europe in response to mass migration into the EU.

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But just last month, Germany's Interior Minister Horst Seehofer released statistics showing that crime is at its lowest level in more than two and a half decades. The AfD's anti-migrant policy is becoming increasingly popular in Germany as several high-profile murders by new arrivals have alarmed voters.

For the the Bavarian party, however, "the real dilemma they face is between accepting the bilateral deals Merkel brokers, or enforcing their plan unilaterally with the risk of Seehofer being fired". 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.

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

But both the CDU/CSU alliance and the Social Democrats (SPD) - the country's two mainstream parties - suffered big losses on the night and Merkel struggled to form a coalition, finally reaching an agreement between the parties in March this year. The CSU has governed Bavaria since 1957.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a news conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg after a meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Friday, June 15, 2018. For her part, Merkel 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.

"We wish the chancellor success in this", he said.

Conte called on the European Union to change its position on migration and adapt current European Union asylum guidelines in favor of "a new approach that is more harmonious, so that whoever sets foot in Italy, sets foot in Europe".

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