Friday, 16 November, 2018

Migrants: Merkel and Orban clash over Europe's 'humanity'

Merkel on Trump tariffs 'It takes two' to prevent a trade war Getty Images
Faye Gross | 08 July, 2018, 10:44

German Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said after the meeting that there would be no transit centers, as agreed by the Merkel-led Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Seehofer-led Christian Social Union (CSU) on Monday.

"If this is agreed in Berlin, we will be forced to take action to prevent harm to Austria and its people", Sebastian Kurz, the Austrian chancellor said.

At a press conference with his coalition partners in Vienna, Mr Kurz spoke out against Ms Merkel's "Welcome Culture" towards migrants of 2015 and said the European Union must take steps to protect its external borders against migrants.

The left criticized Merkel's plan, sealed at the weekend with her Bavarian conservative allies, as being too draconian while the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party called on Merkel to resign, denouncing it as too soft and vague.

Merkel's coalition had teetered on the brink of collapse last month when Seehofer threatened to reimpose controls on Bavaria's border with Austria - part of the EU's Schengen passport-free travel zone - to turn back arriving migrants.

The issue has caused deep divisions within Europe since the mass influx of refugees in 2015, and most recently it threatened to split German Chancellor Angela Merkel's government.

Hurricane Beryl first of Atlantic season
It is likely that the system becomes Tropical Storm Chris on Saturday and possibly reach hurricane strength early next week. This system looks to meander in the Atlantic between the Carolinas and Bermuda over the next few days.


Regarding a possible rejection of refugees to Hungary, Merkel explained that Germany has felt that Hungary seems to be not responsible for the Dublin rules, referring to the agreement reached in 2013 on the dealing with asylum seekers in EU.

She has agreed bilateral deals with a number of countries, including Spain and Greece which are on the front line of migrant arrivals.

"If the talks with Greece and Italy fail, we will have to think again about measures", Seehofer said. "Order must be brought to all forms of migration so people have the impression that law and order is being implemented", she said to applause for her own lawmakers but jeers from the AfD. "We are fighting for a European solution". She added that the good functioning of the world economy depends on countries working together as partners.

Reuters reported that the U.S. ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, has repeatedly met with executives of German carmakers and major suppliers to discuss the issue.

"To be honest, I do not want to elaborate on this idea because we do not want to endanger it", he said, adding it was "not connected to the Austrian presidency but it might serve as an example for others".

Austria has become an enthusiastic supporter of a long-standing effort by the European commission to create a European border and coastguard agency, in contrast to the policy of previous Austrian governments.

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