The government coalition member Christian Social Union (CSU) party is considering having a nationwide referendum on the migrant crisis in the same style as Hungary.
The Bavarian-based CSU, ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), announced Monday their intention to ask party members if they support the idea of a national referendum in Germany on migrant issues, reports German broadcaster BR24.
The referendum would likely be in a similar vein to the vote in Hungary on October 2nd which saw a 98 per cent result in support of the Hungarian government’s stance on not wanting to accept the European Union’s (EU) migrant resettlement programme.
Some within the CSU are not happy about the idea of introducing plans for a national referendum on the subject. The chief critic of the proposal is party leader Horst Seehofer who claims that a national referendum could further deeply divide the country on the issue of migration.
Mr. Seehofer, who is also the current Prime Minister of Bavaria, said that he can foresee negative repercussions if a national referendum on migrants occurred. He claimed that a referendum could further fuel extremism from both Islamic radicals, Leftists, and those on the right depending on the results.
Bavarian state Minister of Finance Markus Söder is the main proponent of the referendum. Mr. Söder does not share Mr. Seehofer’s reservations, predicting that such a vote would serve to pacify the extreme forces rather than inflame them.
The CSU has been much tougher than their sister party, the CDU, on border controls and migration issues over the past year. Mr. Seehofer even threatened to take Chancellor Merkel to court over her refusal to close the border at the height of the migrant crisis.
The migrant crisis itself has left a deep divide between the two parties who have cooperated for decades without incident.
In the wake of election defeats in areas like Ms. Merkel’s home state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Mr. Seehofer has stated that he may not campaign with the Chancellor in next year’s federal election if her migration policy does not change.
The CSU has also drafted several policy proposals that take a page from the rising anti-mass migration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which is tougher on migration and on radical Islam.
After the recently-foiled terror plot in Chemnitz last week CSU General Secretary Andreas Scheuer has also demanded a total overhaul of background checks and security related to asylum seekers in the country.