MERKEL’S MESS: Germany’s Leadership Hangs in the Balance Over Refugee Policy

MERKEL’S MESS: Germany’s Leadership Hangs in the Balance Over Refugee Policy

While Trump's assessment of Germany's crime problems is not accurate - as crime numbers in the country are the lowest since 1992, according to the most recent German data available - the brutal murder of a 14-year-old German girl has fuelled Merkel's opponents who are against the country's migration policies that provide entry to some 10,000 asylum-seekers each month.

Chancellor Angela Merkel accepted a two-week deadline to win agreement on tougher migration policy, a concession to her Bavarian coalition partner that eases an immediate standoff without removing the threat of further government tension down the road.

Merkel has common sense on her side when she argues that there has to be a European fix.

The chancellor has flatly refused to back Mr Seehofer's plan to turn away migrants at the German border if they have already registered elsewhere in the EU.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Volker Bouffier react as they attend the board meeting of Germany's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Berlin, Germany, June 18 2018.

Going ahead with the move unilaterally and with Merkel's explicit opposition could lead to the collapse of the German government which was sworn in only three months ago. In 2016, he threatened Merkel's federal government with a lawsuit if it didn't take measures to further secure the border.

Seehofer - then the governor of Bavaria, where most migrants first entered Germany - became a leading critic of her welcoming approach.

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The office said in an annual report that 728,470 application requests were made for worldwide protection in 2017, compared with nearly 1.3 million applications the previous year. If that were to happen, Mayer says, Merkel would have the authority to fire Seehofer. In the high stakes summit, she seeks an EU-wide deal which would see the responsibility of handling asylum seekers spread more evenly throughout the bloc. "Today there is a real choice of society, even civilisation that is up for discussion". "This is not about winning time or anything like that but rather that in July, if there is no result at European level, we must implement this - that is a question for the functioning of our constitutional state".

The poor showing also set off an internal power struggle: Seehofer salvaged his job as party leader but gave up the Bavarian governor's job to younger rival Markus Soeder.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said it would be "very hard to reach a solution" on hosting asylum seekers next week.

He said he had only recently learnt that migrants who had already been denied asylum by Germany or been issued re-entry bans were still being allowed back in.

By taking a hard line on migration, CSU hopes to position itself as a strong alternative to the AfD in Bavaria's elections. The two conservative parties govern Germany in a coalition with the centre-left Social Democrats.

Under fire over the inhumane treatment of immigrant children at the USA 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.

Driven in part by the civil war in Syria, the number of asylum seekers entering Germany began to rise sharply in 2013, when it reached nearly 110,000, and then soared after Merkel changed the policy in the summer of 2015.

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