Angela Merkel precarious as Germany’s refugee row intensifies


Germany’s ruling coalition remains in a state of heightened suspense over a growing dispute on refugee policy between Angela Merkel and her interior minister that could yet bring down the fledgling government. Horst Seehofer remained poised to carry out his threat to introduce police controls on Germany’s southern border, according to reports, as leading members of his Christian Social Union, junior partners in Merkel’s government, urged the chancellor to back down over her opposition to turning away refugees if they have already applied for asylum in another EU country or had their applications rejected in Germany.

Merkel, who is in her fourth term as chancellor, has rarely found herself in such a precarious position. If Seehofer goes ahead and implements the most contested part of his immigration “masterplan”, she will have little choice but to sack him. But that would also lead to the collapse of her government, which has been in power for less than 100 days, and would almost inevitably end her chancellorship. A source from the interior ministry told German media that Seehofer would be able to implement his plan at any time. “All that’s needed is a phone call,” the source said.(theguardian)…[+]