Compromise reached in German government migration stand-off

Compromise reached in German government migration stand-off

Kerry Wise
July 3, 2018

EUR/USD bulls pile in a short squeeze under way onGerman Chancellor Merkel and Interior Minister Seehofer reaching a compromise agreement.

As Merkel stuck to her guns during the crisis, and won key concessions from European Union partners on toughening migration rules, Seehofer and the CSU faced increasing pressure from all other parties.

At the national level, Merkel proposes that migrants arriving in Germany who first registered in another European Union country should be placed in special "admission centres" under restrictive conditions, according to a document she sent to the CSU and SPD.

The deal, which brought Ms Merkel's Government to the brink of collapse just three months after it was formed, keeps her in office.

Seehofer, who reportedly argues that measures to tackle migration agreed at a European Union summit last week aren't enough, said after his party's top leaders met early Monday that he would hold talks during the day with the CDU.

Weeks of "Merkel-bashing", however, have failed to help the CSU, as a Forsa poll last week showed around 68 percent of Bavarians backed Merkel's quest for a Europe-wide answer to migration rather than Germany going it alone.

Seehofer was quoted as telling the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper Monday that he was in an "inconceivable" situation.

Chancellor Merkel, who once welcomed hundreds of thousands of migrants into Germany, has now agreed to build camps for those seeking asylum and to tighten the border with Austria to save her government.

On Sunday evening, the CDU passed a resolution supporting Mrs Merkel's position on migration.

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Jens Spahn, an arch critic of Merkel's migrant policy, may be unpalatable to many in the CDU, especially after making some controversial comments on poverty and being photographed with the new, outspoken U.S. ambassador, a defender of U.S. President Donald Trump. "There's no way out of the government for us and no way we'll end (the alliance) right now".

The need for peace is only heightened by the upcoming state elections in October, which could see a new party take parliamentary majority if the CSU/CDU coalition dissolves.

"I won't let myself be fired by a chancellor who is only chancellor because of me", he was quoted as saying, an apparent reference to the CSU's traditionally strong election results in Bavaria.

The "Union" of CDU and CSU have blended the southern state's beer-and-lederhosen-infused conservatism with more moderate politics, forming a center-right force that dominated Germany for decades.

However, the more conservative CSU believes its credibility is at stake as it tries to curb support for the anti-migration Alternative for Germany party in the upcoming Bavarian election.

A coalition of the Social Democrats, the Christian Democrats and the CSU must accept the new accord before it can go into affect.

"I would like very much for the CDU and CSU to continue working together", she added.

"The CSU's unsafe ego trip is paralyzing Germany and Europe", SPD chairwoman Andrea Nahles told journalists in Berlin.