When it comes to Germany, there’s method in Trump’s madness

20 June, 2018, 09:34 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • Difficult Merkel allies mull next move in German migrant row

Under fire over the inhumane treatment of immigrant children at the U.S. border, Trump is telling his supporters that an overly harsh treatment of illegal immigrants is surely better than the chaos Angela Merkel's open-door policy has created.

President Trump first made his claim that the crime rate in Germany is "way up" in Germany in a tweet on Monday and also asserted that migrants have "strongly and violently changed their culture" in Europe.

Merkel, the EU's longest-serving leader, welcomed Monday's compromise in a dispute that has threatened to unravel her new coalition, and said her Christian Democrat (CDU) party would decide how to proceed after the two-week deadline elapsed.

"We do not really have a handle on this whole issue of migration", Seehofer told reporters in Munich as Merkel spoke in Berlin. Merkel opposes such unilateral action, arguing that it would increase pressure on Mediterranean countries such as Italy and Greece and weaken the entire 28-nation European Union. Merkel has a remarkable internal resistance, also within her own party, to any measure that involves defraying debts from countries that Germans believe have not done ir homework well.

Seehofer had struck a more conciliatory tone, telling Bild on Sunday: "It is not in the CSU's interest to topple the chancellor, to dissolve the CDU-CSU union or to break up the coalition".

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BERLIN-Chancellor Angela Merkel's allies in Bavaria averted an immediate collision Monday with the German leader, giving her two weeks to make deals on migration with other European countries instead of turning them back unilaterally at Germany's border.

Merkel is in the middle of a serious domestic row after defending her government's immigration policy.

The challenge represents one of the biggest rebukes to Merkel's leadership since she first took power 13 years ago, and suggests that the anti-migrant sentiment seen in Italy and Hungary is spreading across the EU. Although Trump has claimed that migrants cause crime in Europe, 2016 statistics from Germany revealed that there were almost 1,000 crimes targeting migrants at asylum and refugee centers.

According to Seehofer's so-called asylum "master plan", Germany should start turning back migrants at the border who previously applied for asylum or registered as asylum-seekers in other European countries.

Next week, European Union leaders will also agree to look into opening "disembarkation platforms" in regions such as north Africa to decide asylum requests before people get to Europe.

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So, why is Trump attacking Germany on immigration?

Italy wants to adapt current European Union asylum guidelines in favour of "a new approach that is more harmonious, so that whoever sets foot in Italy, sets foot in Europe", Conte said.

While he now has Merkel's backing in hand, Macron still has an uphill struggle to convince the other members of the 19 member eurozone to sign off on the budget.

European stocks, and particularly the German market, have been hit once again over recent days by the possibility of political turmoil in Germany caused by disagreements within the ruling coalition over the country's migrant policy.

The CSU, which faces regional elections in October, fears it could be toppled from its decades-old perch atop the wealthy southern state by the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party if it does not tighten policy towards migrants. "These are all questions that we will discuss in the coming months and where we want to work very closely together", Merkel said.

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