The Bavarian sister party of German Chancellor Angela Merkel‘s Christian Democrats is reportedly threatening to withdraw parliamentary support from the ruling coalition over its immigration asylum policy.
The Christian Social Union disagrees with national policy on migration and wants either a U-turn or the devolution of migration policy to the state level, which is in stark contrast to Merkel’s position as she is pushing for an EU-wide policy.
Numerous reports have indicated that the CSU could withdraw parliamentary support. The conservative tabloid Built reported on Friday on an ultimatum by the CSU, which is due to expire on Monday.
The CSU’s Secretary General Markus Blume, however, denied the report to German public broadcaster DW as “pure disinformation”.
The leader of the CSU, Horst Seehofer, who is also the minister of the interior and a staunch critic of Merkel’s European asylum policy defied the government by voicing solidarity with his Italian counterpart, Matteo Salvini and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz – both of whom are right-wing anti-immigration politicians.
Seehofer wants to reinstate border controls in Germany and return refugees to the country of entry in the EU. Merkel is against any unilateral action and proposes a pan-European plan in which countries will commit to sharing new arrivals, which she refers to a “coalition of the willing.” According to German tabloid, Bild, Merkel is planning for a crisis-management meeting with a number of EU member states, ahead of the June 28-29 summits in Brussels.
According to the report, Merkel will be engaged in exploratory talks with Austria, Italy, Greece and, potentially, Spain, about an EU-wide approach to the migrant crisis. The government spokesman, Steffen Seibert, took to Twitter to deny the report, saying that the government is merely consulting and there will be no dedicated pre-summit.
Bavarian official Hans Eckhard is due to take charge of the national asylum management agency, known as the Federal Office of Migration and Refugees (BAMF), the DPA agency reported. Eckhard held a similar post in the State of Bavaria and advocates mass repatriations.
The position of Seehofer and the Bavaria CSU are likely a close reflection of the more conservative voters that are found in the southern German state. The CSU has been keen to stop voter defection to the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD).