Merkel Wants EU Summit over Migrant Crisis Policy

Merkel Wants EU Summit over Migrant Crisis Policy

The German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for a summit on EU refugee policy ahead of the European Council meeting this month, according to German newspaper reports.

The German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for a summit on EU refugee policy ahead of the European Council meeting this month, according to German newspaper reports.

Merkel is searching for a compromise to find a way past a challenge from her coalition interior minister, the Bavarian Horst Seehofer, who wants to stop many refugees at the Germany’s border, a plan she and her party are against. The row threatens the bring down Merkel and her coalition Government.

She has reportedly asked her Austrian, Italian and Greek opposite numbers to meet and discuss options, having insisted that the refugee situation requires a pan-European solution.

The summit could take place within days, according to the newspaper Bild, although it is not clear what other countries would be in attendance.

Seehofer will seek the approval of his CSU party leadership next week for his plan to turn migrants away at the border after rejecting Merkel’s plea to wait until after any summit. If it is implemented and Merkel sacks him, it could bring the alliance between the CSU and her Christian Democrats crashing down.

Speaking to BILD am Sonntag, Seehofer insisted he did not want to bring about the end of the coalition or cause the Government to fall, but he added: “We want to finally have a sustainable solution for turning back refugees at our borders.”

In Italy, new Interior Minister and deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said last week that NGO ships carrying migrants would not be allowed to dock at the country’s ports in future.

The far-right League leader posted the announcement on Facebook saying: “Italy no longer wants to be an accomplice of human traffickers and contribute to the business of illegal immigration”.

He singled out two NGO ships flying Dutch flags and insisted they would not be allowed to enter Italian ports.

The Aquarius — the vessel blocked from docking in Italy last week — has been allowed entry to offload more than 600 passengers.

A poll published Saturday by Italian daily Corriere della Sera showed 59 percent of Italians support the new government’s migration policy.

(Banner image: Flickr )

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