Ahead of Macron meeting, Merkel insists migration needs 'European answer'

Pauline Gross
June 21, 2018

She has pledged instead to seek bilateral agreements with arrival and transit countries and a wider solution by the European Union, which holds its next summit on June 28-29, while admitting that this plan is "ambitious". "We don't want what is happening with immigration in Europe to happen with us!" he said.

Merkel told reporters she was still convinced that Europe needed to work together to combat the causes of the refugee flow by helping improve conditions in the countries of origin while at the same time increasing security at Europe's outer borders and cracking down on smugglers.

The chairman of Bavaria's Christian Social Union (CSU) said on Monday he was ready to turn away at the German border migrants registered in other European Union states if Chancellor Angela Merkel does not seal an EU migrants deal later this month.

In an extraordinary move, the CSU - facing a tough regional election in October - has threatened to defy her and on Monday go ahead with plans for Germany to send back migrants already registered in other European Union states.

The survey found that 62 percent of respondents were in favor of turning back undocumented migrants at the border, in line with the stance of Seehofer who is openly challenging Merkel.

Earlier this month, Merkel made some concessions, agreeing to support Macron's call for an investment fund to help poorer European countries catch up in the areas of science, technology and innovation.

On Monday, reports emerged that Seehofer has agreed to give Merkel two weeks to come up with a solution, but the situation is still highly concerning for investors already anxious about politics in the European region.

Merkel has said she is "favourable" to a French call to create a European Intervention Initiative of forces which could be deployed rapidly to deal with crises outside the framework of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

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Seehofer has earned the wrath of politicians across the political spectrum for appearing to seek a major confrontation with Merkel, threatening to place police at the border even if she rejected his plan, which would leave her little choice but to sack him.

"We're hoping to obtain a maximum of agreements on Tuesday, and in late June", a source in the French presidency told AFP.

The chancellor's spokesman said she was to bring up the issue Monday evening during talks in Berlin with Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte - the head of a new, populist government whose interior minister has pledged to deport tens of thousands of migrants. "We will fight for that, and on this point there's no latitude for the chancellor." he added.

He said he would go ahead with preparations to block some asylum-seekers at the border.

"Angela Merkel's coalition is coming under increasing strain over the migrant issue".

He said, if Merkel's negotiations on getting other countries to take back migrants don't bear fruit, he will talk with her party but "I want be able to put this into effect". More than 1 million migrants came to Germany in 2015 and 2016, though numbers have since dropped sharply.

The rules require migrants to apply for asylum in the first country they enter-a policy France has used to defend its own efforts to keep people from trying to cross over from Italy.

Other reports by GizPress

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