News World Merkel to fight another day after settling migration row

Merkel to fight another day after settling migration row

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives settled a row over migration that threatened to topple her fragile governing coalition late on Monday evening after talks with her rebellious interior minister led him to drop his threat to resign.

Emerging after five hours of talks, Horst Seehofer, leader of Bavaria’s Christian Social Union (CSU), told reporters he would remain in his post after a deal with Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) that he said would stem illegal immigration.

“After intensive discussions between the CDU and CSU we have reached an agreement on how we can in future prevent illegal immigration on the border between Germany and Austria,” Seehofer said as he left the CDU’s Berlin headquarters.

The deal, which brought Merkel’s government to the brink of collapse just three months after it was formed, keeps her in office. But the woman who has dominated European politics for 12-1/2 years appears greatly diminished, raising questions over whether she will serve out her term.

The euro currency wobbled on several occasions during the weeks-long row, which stretched to breaking point a 70-year-old alliance between the two parties.

It was the latest aftershock from Merkel’s 2015 decision to open Germany‘s borders to more than a million refugees from war in the Middle East and Africa.

That decision convulsed European politics, fueling the rise of anti-immigration parties including the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which now threatens to unseat the CSU in October’s regional elections. Under the deal migrants who have already applied for asylum in other European Union countries will be held in transit centres on the border while Germanynegotiates bilateral deals for their return.

The transit centres, like ‘airside’ zones in international airports, will be regarded for immigration purposes as not being in Germany, making it easier to deport from them.

The compromise deal meant that Seehofer was able to hail tighter immigration controls, while Merkel was able to say that Germany adhered to EU rules and upheld freedom of movement within the bloc.

“The spirit of partnership in the European Union is preserved and at the same time an important step to order (has been taken), Merkel told reporters.

But the crisis, the latest of several rows over migration between the two parties, is another sign of the EU-wide divide between those who want to maintain open borders and those who want to restrict the number of migrants entering the bloc.

Merkel’s CDU relies on the CSU to maintain power through a coalition. The centre-left Social Democrats, another partner in the coalition, must also accept the deal along with neighbouring Austria

Top Stories

Total loans increase by €2.8 mln in January, after suspension of loan installments ends

Total loans in January 2021 recorded a net increase of €2.8 million, compared with a net increase of €583.7 million in December 2020, according to...

Where to get a rapid test on Friday, 26 February

Aiming at the continuous surveillance of the community and the workplaces, the free programmes of rapid antigen testing of the general population and employees...

Agreement with Israel valid as of 1st April

Commenting on reports that Israelis are expressing interest in passing Passover in Cyprus, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said that the agreement reached with Israel...

Health Minister: By summer 70% of the population will be vaccinated

After the announcement of the gradual relaxation of measures, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou referred to vaccination noting that "the Vaccination Plan is going according...

Undocumented migrants occupy Belgian church, seek help from government

A large group of undocumented migrants has occupied a church in Belgium to attract the attention of the government as their situation has become...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...