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Migrant Crisis Rattles Europe

05 July 2018

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government looked to be in serious trouble when grievances between her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister, the Christian Social Union (CSU), threatened to end their long-standing political partnership. As Merkel attempted to reach an agreement to propose to Germany’s European neighbours, her interior minister, CSU’s Horst Seehofer, offered resistance for several weeks. Seehofer revived a plan previously rejected back in 2015 which sought to curb migration into Germany by blocking the entry of migrants already registered in another European Union (EU) country. The historic CDU-CSU union came under threat after Seehofer announced plans to resign if Merkel offered no compromises to her so-called ‘open door refugee policy’, which could have led to the premature end of Merkel’s majority government (which took nearly six months to be formed). Merkel and Seehofer eventually reached a deal to introduce a number of migrant transit centres in southern Germany, which will process migrant applications at the border and fast-track their potential deportation. Although domestically the deal was achieved, it generated shockwaves across its neighbours, including in Austria.

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