Sunday , February 24 2019

Merkel faces calls to tighten refugee policy


German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s parliamentary caucus pressed her to end a cabinet standoff over refugee policy, underscoring the unbroken political risk posed by migration.
At a regular meeting of Merkel’s 246-member Christian Democratic-led bloc on Tuesday, no member backed the chancellor’s criticism of a proposal by Interior Minister Horst Seehofer to turn back refugees at the German border, according to a party official who attended.
In contrast, 13 lawmakers spoke up in favour of the interior minister’s plan, said the official, who asked not to be identified because the meeting wasn’t public. Merkel told the lawmakers her goal is to resolve the conflict this week.
Seehofer, who heads the Christian Social Union, a Bavarian party allied with Merkel’s Christian Democrats, was the fiercest critic of her open-borders policy at the height of Europe’s refugee crisis in 2015-16. In March, he joined Merkel’s fourth-term cabinet as interior minister, the top federal law enforcement post.

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