‘Destiny Day’ for Merkel as Allies Set to Issue Migration Ultimatum

Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

German media has described Monday as the ‘day of destiny’ for Angela Merkel and her position as leader, with the Chancellor set to be issued an ultimatum over asylum rules.

The coalition between the Merkel-led Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its conservative Bavarian allies is in crisis over the long-serving Chancellor’s insistence that Germany’s borders stay open.

Christian Social Union (CSU) leader and interior minister Horst Seehofer, a vocal critic of Merkel’s immigration policy, has warned he will give Merkel two weeks to arrange a deal with other EU leaders over migrants who have already applied for asylum elsewhere, or else shut the borders to newcomers who have previously registered in other European nations.

But Merkel, who has led Germany since 2005, has so far flatly rejected the proposal, claiming that turning aliens away at the border would contravene supposed EU values and undermine freedom of movement within the bloc.

Both party leaders are expected to address the media on Monday afternoon after CSU and CDU officials hold separate talks in Berlin and Munich, while CSU secretary general Markus Blume told reporters that Seehofer’s ‘migration masterplan’ had the party’s total backing.

Publication of this so-called masterplan has been postponed, but local media reports that the interior minister’s document has the potential to further strain relations between the Union parties, containing anti-mass migration proposals such as slashing asylum seekers’ cash payments and replacing them almost entirely with benefits in kind.

The period during which migrants receive only the most basic level of welfare would also be extended from 15 months to 36 months under the plans.

The talks come as local media reported Hans-Eckhard Sommer, a Bavarian ally of the Interior Minister known to have a ‘tough dog’ approach to illegal immigration, will take over as head of the Federal Office of Migration and Refugees (BAMF).

Seehofer fired former BAMF boss Jutta Cordt on Friday after it emerged that the agency, which is responsible for processing asylum applications in Germany, was embroiled in a ‘bribes for residence decisions’ scandal.

While Merkel’s enthusiasm for mass migration from the third world – which has been marked by much of the now seemingly obligatory pro-’bridges’ and anti-’walls’ rhetoric in recent years – has enjoyed strong support from establishment media across the West, polls show Germans are not convinced.

On Friday, AFP reported 62 per cent of Germans surveyed backed Seehofer in wanting to see what the international media agency described as “undocumented asylum seekers” turned back at the border, while a massive 86 per cent said they wanted to see faster deportations of migrants whose asylum claims have been rejected.

U.S. President Donald J. Trump highlighted the situation on Monday afternoon, asserting that “the people of Germany are turning against their leadership”, in a tweet which described the Chancellor’s decision to open the border to the third world as a “big mistake”.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.