One can only hope. German Chancellor Angela Merkel desperately attempts to hold party together after rebellion by her interior minister.
Daily Mail German Chancellor Angela Merkel faced a tense showdown Thursday within her divided conservative camp over the flashpoint issue of immigration that could threaten her political future.
Merkel was confronted with an open rebellion by her hardline Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, long a fierce critic of her liberal stance on refugees who wants to toughen border controls.
German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer: “Islam does NOT belong to Germany.” He has also vowed to pursue hardline Muslim mass immigration policies, including the implementation of a ‘master plan’ for speedier illegal migrant deportations.
Europe Reloaded Seehofer’s remarks prompted an immediate firestorm of criticism from the self-appointed guardians of German multiculturalism, including from Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has repeatedly insisted that “Islam belongs to Germany.”
- “Islam does not belong to Germany. Germany is shaped by Christianity. This tradition includes work-free Sundays and church holidays and rituals such as Easter, Pentecost and Christmas…. My message is that Muslims have to live with us, not next to or against us.” — Horst Seehofer, Germany’s new interior minister
- “Many Muslims belong to Germany, but Islam does not belong to Germany. Islam is at base a political ideology that is not compatible with the German Constitution.” — Beatrix von Storch, Alternative for Germany (AfD)
- “The state must ensure that people feel safe whenever they are in the public realm. People have a right to security. This is our top responsibility. It means that there should not be any no-go areas — areas where no one dares to go. Such areas do exist. We must call them by name. We must do something about it.” — German Chancellor Angela Merkel, RTL television, February 26, 2018
After late-night talks between them failed to resolve the dispute, a parliamentary session Thursday was suspended to allow the rival camps – Merkel’s CDU and its traditional sister party from Bavaria, Seehofer’s CSU – to huddle for strategy talks.
Seehofer has demanded as part of a new ‘migration masterplan’ that German border police be given the right to turn back all asylum-seekers without identity papers and those who are already registered elsewhere in the European Union.
Merkel rejects the idea, fearing it would be seen in the EU as Germany going it alone and that it would hurt over-burdened frontline Mediterranean countries such as Italy and Greece.
The CSU’s Alexander Dobrindt said Seehofer had the authority to act without Merkel’s consent and order police to turn back the migrants – a potential act of open defiance that would force Merkel to fire him, sparking a coalition collapse.
Merkel, the longest-serving EU leader, had Wednesday called immigration ‘a litmus test for the future of Europe’ – but the issue has now rapidly turned into a test of Merkel’s own grip on power at home.
Bild daily argued that ‘if no agreement is reached, Angela Merkel must face a vote of NO confidence and every lawmaker must decide … Keep going with Merkel’s way or face an adventure called fresh elections.’