Having solved one immigration crisis in her coalition government, German chancellor Angela Merkel now faces another.
Last week, she calmed down her Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, by agreeing to the creation of “transit zones” on Germany’s borders to control the influx of asylum seekers and temporarily freeze family reunifications.
German chancellor Angela Merkel started walking back her open-door immigration policy on Sunday to mend ties inside her ruling coalition.
A joint statement released by Merkel and Horst Seehofer, the leader of her Bavarian sister part, the Christian Social Union, calls for the creation of “transit zones” on Germany’s border to control the influx of people as well as a temporary freeze in family reunifications.
German chancellor Angela Merkel has been in power for almost a decade. During that time, she has presided over Germany’s economic revival (even if that owed much to her predecessor, Gerhard Schröder) and assumed leadership in the European sovereign debt crisis — which saw Germany return to a position of preeminence on the continent.
It’s hard to imagine life without Merkel. But it would be a mistake to think Europe can’t do without her.
European Union interior ministers agreed on Tuesday to distribute 120,000 migrants across the bloc’s 28 member states. But although the number is a fraction of the hundreds of thousands seeking asylum this year, four Central European nations still voted against the plan while Finland abstained.
Championed by Germany, which is bearing the brunt of the migrant crisis, the new plan would distribute asylum seekers proportionately across countries. But it would not be mandatory.
Earlier this week, the ministers of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia expressed strong opposition, saying, “any proposal leading to the introduction of mandatory and permanent quota for solidarity measures would be unacceptable.”
Germany’s liberal Der Spiegel argues that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s generous immigration policy — which could see Europe’s largest economy admit up to one million asylum seekers this year — is undermining European unity. “German chancellors have always strived for consensus,” the magazine writes. “Merkel has now embarked on her own special path.” Read more “Merkel’s Generous Migration Policy Splits Europe”
German chancellor Angela Merkel and her finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, disagree about how far the rest of the European Union should go to keep Greece in the euro, Der Spiegel reports.
Whereas Merkel, the leader of Europe’s largest economy and Greece’s biggest creditor, fears the economic as well as political repercussions of a Greek exit from the eurozone, Schäuble is reportedly convinced the scenario would actually leave the rest of the bloc better off.
Which of them is the more intransigent? Merkel, whose popularity serves as the backbone of the EU? Or Schäuble, for whom there is considerable good will among members of parliament, fed up as they are with having to approve one bailout package after another?
The different measures implemented in Europe in order to boost growth through increased monetary action, investment and structural reforms have replaced austerity as the new dominant dogma. While Angela Merkel is adapting to the new situation, Bundesbank president Jens Weidmann disagrees with more budget flexibility and a possible QE by the European Central Bank (ECB) in 2015.
German chancellor Angela Merkel opposes NATO membership for Ukraine and worries that a planned referendum in the country about joining the alliance could aggravate Western relations with Russia.
The Bloomberg news agency cites a German official saying Merkel believes the referendum won’t bring Ukraine closer to NATO. A second official said any Ukrainian bid to join NATO could only end badly. Both asked not to be named.
Germany no longer rules out a British withdrawal from the European Union, weekly Der Spiegel reported on Sunday. British prime minister David Cameron’s proposal to limit free labor migration in Europe — one of the union’s cornerstone integration policies — would be a bridge too far for his German counterpart, Angela Merkel.