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New German Coalition in Peril as Potential Partners Clash over 200,000 Annual Migrant Limit

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel has agreed to a proposal from coalition partner and leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU) Horst Seehofer to limit the number of asylum seekers in Germany to 200,000 per year – but other coalition partners are not as positive on the policy.

The German chancellor, who also heads the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), mended a rift between her party and the Bavarian CSU who have argued for the migrant limit for well over a year. The new agreement, which was negotiated over the span of around six hours, gets rid of the term “upper limit” but still agrees to the 200,000 asylum seeker number proposed by the CSU, Die Welt reports.

The official text of the agreement states: “We want to achieve the total number for humanitarian reasons (refugees and asylum seekers, subsidiary protection, family reunion, relocation and resettlement, minus repatriations, and voluntary expulsions of future refugees) a number not exceeding 200,000 people per year.”

The agreement states that Germany will work with existing structures, including agreements with the European Union (EU)  to maintain the goal of 200,000 per year. What is not stated in the agreement is what will happen if the limit is met and there are still more migrants who wish to enter the country.

“If the aforementioned goal is not met by international or national developments, the Federal Government and the Bundestag will make appropriate adjustments to the target down or above,” the text reads, meaning that the number could be increased above 200,000.

The asylum seeker limit could also have implications for the proposed “Jamaica coalition” between the CDU/CSU, the libertarian Free Democrats and the Green party.

Green party co-leader Simone Peter said that the agreement could see asylum seekers pitted against each other. “This has nothing to do with human rights-based asylum policies,” she said. Peter also claimed that the Greens would not support the classification of more overseas states as safe, meaning less chance for migrants to be deported to countries like Afghanistan or North African nations.

The month before the German national election, CSU leader Horst Seehofer said that mass deportations of illegal migrants had become “almost impossible“.

Despite there being an estimated 250,000 illegals in Germany he said: “The question of deportation is a great illusion in Germany. It is almost impossible to send back the migrants once they are in the country.”

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at) 


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