Merkel defends migration policy after Seehofer showdown


Angela Merkel has sought to defend her government’s migration policy in her first speech to parliament since a showdown with the interior minister, Horst Seehofer, over the policing of Germany’s borders. The German chancellor spoke up for the compromise agreement the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) struck with its smaller partner, the Christian Social Union (CSU), to erect transit zones along the southern German border to speed up the deportation of ineligible asylum seekers, insisting migration had to be better regulated.

“We must have more regulation regarding every type of migration, so that people have the impression that law and order are being enforced,” Merkel told a packed Bundestag, in a speech intended to show she is still in control after intense speculation that her 13-year chancellorship was about to end. Stressing that migration was a “global problem requiring a global solution” and countries could not go it alone, she said the EU’s future was dependent on a solution being found.

“How we deal with the migrant question will decide whether Europe continues to exist in the future,” she said, referring to her fraught attempts to secure deals with other EU members to accept the return of refugees who had registered in their countries. At the same time, she underlined the necessity of protecting Europe’s outer borders more effectively as well as agreeing partnerships with African countries to tackle illegal migration and lessen the incentives for economic migration.(theguardian)…[+]