VIDEO - The Chancellor and her Bavarian allies of the CSU announced Monday an agreement on the control of migration.
The calm of Angela Merkel is legendary. Faced with the sling and the erratic strategy of its CSU interlocutors hostile to its migration policy, the Chancellor has made the choice of patience, failure to make an act of authority to sound the end of the game. On Monday, she resumed talks with the Bavarian party, to avoid a break that could have cost him his mandate. "All efforts are good" to maintain the unity of the CDU and the CSU, she told her peers during the day. And in the evening, both parties announced that they had reached an agreement "to prevent illegal migration". Chancellor Angela Merkel praised "a good compromise after difficult days". The crisis lasted fifteen days.
After a final four-hour meeting at the CDU headquarters, the leader of the Bavarian Conservative Party and Minister of the Interior, Horst Seehofer, hailed a "clear" result that corresponds to "his positions". He immediately gave up the resignation he had put into play Sunday night. "It's worth fighting for his convictions," he said, welcoming the fact that he could control migration "on the border between Germany and Austria". For Horst Seehofer, Bavaria has always been the priority. In the election campaign, the CSU fears losing an absolute majority in the regional parliament in the October 14 poll. That's why she chose to raise her voice, hoping to recapture the electorate tempted by the AfD.
In the absence of a bilateral agreement, the compromise text provides for the refoulement of asylum seekers at the Austrian-German border.
In the compromise reached between the two parties, it is no longer directly a matter of returning asylum seekers registered in another Member State of the European Union, as Horst Seehofer wanted. The German government wants to create "transit centers" near the border. Under conditions of agreement with other Member States, expulsion procedures may be carried out in an accelerated manner. Still, these agreements must exist. In the absence of a bilateral agreement, the compromise text provides for the refoulement of asylum seekers to the Austro-German border. But to what extent? Horst Seehofer did not say Monday night. Anyway, Angela Merkel avoided the implementation of the unilateral provisions she feared and that the CSU claimed.
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After their meeting, the leaders of the CDU and the CSU were to meet with their social-democratic coalition partner to convince him to subscribe to the compromise as well. But their proposal is reminiscent of the "transit zones" mentioned in 2015, at the height of the refugee crisis. The measure had not emerged because of the refusal of the SPD that did not want "open prisons" at the border. Three years later and weakened by its defeat last year, can the Social Democratic Party afford a new showdown with the Chancellor?
Avoiding the resignation of Horst SeehoferAngela Merkel hopes to close the worst political crisis between the CDU and the CSU. During the day, Bundestag President Wolfgang Schäuble had seen the two parties, allied for seventy years, "on the edge of the abyss". The episode will leave traces however. The authority of Angela Merkel, weakened since her short electoral victory, has taken a blow. Nobody imagines how she and her Minister of the Interior, who were already enjoying little, will be able to continue working together. "I will not be sacked by a chancellor, who is Chancellor thanks to me," said Seehofer Monday afternoon to the Süddeutsche Zeitung. Last week, Die Welt reported even more violent remarks from the Bavarian leader against the Chancellor: "I can not work with this woman anymore," he said.
But at CSU, the followers of the worst strategy, that of the historic break with the CDU, had lost ground in the day: it would have been synonymous with electoral disaster. "There is no way (for us) outside the government," said Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder, seeming to disassociate themselves from Horst Seehofer's confrontation line. He passed for a hard one so far. But to break the deadlock, the CSU preferred to play Monday the partition of the unit.
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Correspondent of the Figaro in Berlin