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Thursday, June 28, 2018

"Migration could decide the destiny of the European Union"

Por Nina

The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, is willing to let her skin in the search for an agreement on migration and asylum in the European Council that began Thursday in Brussels, although she acknowledged in a parliamentary speech prior to her departure for Brussels that "still we are not where we want to go." Blowing hot and cold, creating and lowering at the same time the expectations of a "European solution" to immigration and asylum policy, Merkel spoke before the Bundestag in a national key and for those who were not present "for reasons of agenda ", his Minister of the Interior and leader of the Bavarian Social Christian Union (CSU), Horst Seehofer.

The Bavarian leader, who threatens to apply unilateral measures and even against the will of Merkel "if she does not achieve the European solution that she has been promising for three years", preferred a television interview Wednesday night to wish her luck and tell the German public that no one in his party is thinking of leaving the coalition government, which, on the other hand, would leave Merkel in the minority. Seehofer, however, maintained his ultimatum.

This weekend will bring together the leadership of his party to evaluate the results of the council and set, predictably, on Sunday, the next step to take. "Europe faces many challenges, but migration can be a question that determines the fate of the European Union," the Chancellor has ruled in the Bundestag, warning that migration goes beyond the conflict generated by the CSU, party twinned with the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) of Merkel for 70 years and only present in the Bavarian state, where it has ruled with an absolute majority. In the regional elections of the month of October could lose that hegemony before the advance of the populist right, Alternative for Germany (AfD). This formation, grown in the shelter of the refugee crisis, would arrive, according to the latest polls, 14% of votes to the CSU, which would remain so with 31%.

"My motto is still that you should not take unilateral measures or harm third parties, you have to look for partners," Merkel reiterated and recalled that of the seven points discussed a week ago with the countries most affected by immigration, among them Greece, Italy and Spain, it is necessary to work especially in less than half because "we agree on something fundamental and is that we must protect the external borders and improve the provision of Frontex," said the chancellor. This mini-summit has not been attended by countries that are reluctant to take any action other than the total closure of the borders and which, like Slovenia and Hungary, will be there tomorrow and last in Brussels, which could make an agreement even more difficult. The explanation given by the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, however, has been that the appointment did not conform to the right to have been convened by the president of the Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and not by the Council, Donald Tusk.

Merkel has admitted in his speech that in Germany there are some things that have to change with respect to immigration policy and has given as an example the difficulties that there were to extradite a bodyguard of Osama bin Laden, who has been living on German social assistance until a few weeks ago. However, the chancellor has insisted that the core of the problem must be addressed from Europe, despite the difficulties to reach agreements on certain points, such as the reform of the Dublin agreement, for which the chancellor has defended two fundamental aspects today.

Merkel is aligned with the majority opinion of the German public, disgusted by these and other minority cases and 75% want as a first option a European solution like the one proposed by the chancellor. On this basis, Merkel will defend in the European Council the extension to an "external dimension" of European migration policy through agreements with countries of origin or transit of refugees. "And it will not be enough to go there and talk to governments, it will be necessary to help create better conditions of employment and subsistence," she said, announcing the transfer of German funds. Their priority is to "lead the flows" and "control secondary immigration", that of the families of those who have already arrived in Germany and wish to meet in Germany with their own.

Dressed in turquoise green, curiously the color with which the German football team said goodbye to the World Cup, Merkel asked the camera to support the migration plan of Seehofer, a total of 62 points that no one has seen on the paper that includes proposals as the acceleration of deportations and the creation of centers where plaintiffs should wait until the processing of their file. And something to which Merkel is opposed the closing of national borders and the hot expulsion of refugees who have already registered in other countries or who have been rejected before. Before leaving the hemicycle in the direction of Brussels, Merkel has met in the rear ranks of the Chamber with the heads of the parliamentary groups of the CDU and the CSU. It has not been a usual meeting.