Merkel’s Rule in Germany Seems Stable as Seehofer Bodes No Further Migration Disputes

Merkel’s Rule in Germany Seems Stable as Seehofer Bodes No Further Migration Disputes

The prospects for the Cabinet of German Chancellor Angela Merkel seem brighter as her main ally turned opponent on migration policy until recently, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, has said he does not expect any new major intra-government disputes on the matter.

In June and July, Seehofer’s insistence on new measures against illegal immigration led to a crisis in the Merkel Cabinet, and complex talks that resulted in a compromise deal of the ruling coalition.

Seehofer’s readiness to resign had threatened the existence of the ruling coalition as he also the leader of the CSU, the Bavarian sister party of Merkel’s CDU.

Now, however, the Interior Minister has pledged support for Chancellor Angela Merkel in what has been described as a “fragile peace” between the two by German media DW.

Seehofer declared he did not see a possibility for another “showdown” with Merkel over migration policy, speaking in an interview for ZDF TV on Sunday.

He said the German government would be making decisions “week by week on pensions, unemployment insurance, rising rents and a skilled workers immigration law.”

It is noted that in an attempt to preserve the absolute majority of the CSU after the state elections of Bavaria to be held on October 14, Seehofer has been pushing for more right-wing policies, especially with respect to curbing the influx of migrants.

Meanwhile, in an interview for ARD TV on Sunday, Merkel turned down a proposal by the SPD, the Social Democrats who are partners in her ruling coalition, would give rejected asylum seekers the opportunity to receive long-term residence if they have a job and are integrating in the Germany society.

In her words, such an option would send the wrong signal that people who are applying for asylum could “switch lanes” after arriving in Germany.

“To send the signal, you can come, and there is basically no more differentiation, I don’t think that’s right,” Merkel said.

At about the time of Merkel and Seehofer’s Sunday interviews, the German city of Chemnitz saw an outbreak of far-right protests after the stabbing death of a German man in an incident involving migrants.

In her interview, the German Chancellor also stressed the need to prevent the erosion of democracy by defending its core principles such as press freedom, protections for minorities and independent courts.

“Democracy is more than just somebody getting a majority. Democracy is protection for minorities, press freedom, the right to demonstrate — democracy is independent courts,” the German Chancellor stated.

German judges have recently come under fire by politicians, especially with respect to the state court ruling on the unlawful deportation of Sami A., the alleged ex-bodyguard of Osama bin Laden.

The Higher Administrative Court in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia ordered that Sami A. must be brought back from Tunisia to Germany and fined the authorities who authorized his deportation.

(Banner image: Flickr)

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