Weakened Merkel forced to backtrack on illegal immigration

Angela Merkel was always going to have a challenge managing a coalition government that took months to form, and relies on the agreement of several diverse parties.

The contentious issue of illegal immigration put the three month old coalition at threat of collapse, but that was averted with an agreement that will toughen up significantly on cross-border migration, if the agreement holds together. It meanbs setting up transit camps on the Austrian border.

Reuters: Merkel to fight another day after settling migration row

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives settled a row over migration that threatened to topple her fragile governing coalition late on Monday evening after talks with her rebellious interior minister led him to drop his threat to resign.

Emerging after five hours of talks, Horst Seehofer, leader of Bavaria’s Christian Social Union (CSU), told reporters he would remain in his post after a deal with Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) that he said would stem illegal immigration.

“After intensive discussions between the CDU and CSU we have reached an agreement on how we can in future prevent illegal immigration on the border between Germany and Austria,” Seehofer said as he left the CDU’s Berlin headquarters.

The deal, which brought Merkel’s government to the brink of collapse just three months after it was formed, keeps her in office. But the woman who has dominated European politics for 12-1/2 years appears greatly diminished, raising questions over whether she will serve out her term.

NY Yimes: Merkel, to Survive, Agrees to Border Camps for Migrants

Chancellor Angela Merkel, who staked her legacy on welcoming hundreds of thousands of migrants into Germany, agreed on Monday to build border camps for asylum seekers and to tighten the border with Austria in a political deal to save her government.

It was a spectacular turnabout for a leader who has been seen as the standard-bearer of the liberal European order but who has come under intense pressure at home from the far right and from conservatives in her governing coalition over her migration policy.

Although the move to appease the conservatives exposed her growing political weakness, Ms. Merkel will limp on as chancellor. For how long is unclear. The nationalism and anti-migrant sentiment that has challenged multilateralism elsewhere in Europe is taking root — fast — in mainstream German politics.

Ms. Merkel agreed to the latest policy after an insurrection over migration policy led by her interior minister, Horst Seehofer, threatened to bring down her coalition.

It’s tough when in a tenuous coalition one of your own ministers threatens to bring it down if they don’t get their way.

The new policy still needs to be approved by the third part in the coalition, the Social Democrats, and also needs to be accepted by Austria, so it isn’t a done deal yet.

It would establish camps, called “transit centers,” at points along the border. Newly arriving migrants would be screened in the centers, and any determined to have already applied for asylum elsewhere in the European Union would be turned back.

Administration aside this this may reduce Germany’s immigration problems but it won’t make them go away – the flood is still in Europe, Germany is just blocking a few holes in the dyke.

Under Ms. Merkel, Germany has been a bulwark against the rise of the far right in Europe and the increasing turn against migrants. Even as neighboring countries turned away those fleeing war and strife in the Middle East, she has welcomed more than a million since 2015, and lobbied for a collective European solution.

Since then the number of new migrants has dropped to a fraction of what it was three years ago. But the good will has been eroding as Germany has struggled to absorb those already in the country.

While migration has reduced significantly concerns over what has already happened and is still happening has grown.

This is a huge ongoing problem for Germany and for Europe.

A new government in Italy is also trying to deal with illegal immigration – Migration crisis: Italy’s threats a plea for help

As migration to Europe surges, Italy has issued threats against aid organizations assisting refugees in the Mediterranean.

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), an agency that cooperates with the UN, 85,000 migrants fled to Italy from North Africa by boat in the first half of 2017. That figure is 19 percent higher than the one for the first half of last year. And according to IOM, the high point of the “season” hasn’t even been reached yet.

All of the EU’s attempts to reduce the number of migrants have failed so far. The official aim of the EU is to close off the Mediterranean route, as well as the route between Turkey and Greece, as much as possible.

Almost half of those refugees who have been rescued were saved not by EU ships but by private boats being operated by one of the 10 private aid organizations patrolling the area.

Italy now wants to control the work of aid organizations more closely and is preparing new procedures and new rules of conduct. Missions by Frontex and the NGOs have so far been coordinated by the Italian navy. They have accused individual employees of switching off their ships’ transponders.

Without the transponders automatically indicating the position of their vessels, these individuals then allegedly travel to Libyan waters, where they pick up migrants from inflatable boats and rotten wooden cages.

Now, Italy is threatening to close its ports to NGO ships with migrants on board.

Interior ministers from France and Germany have promised Italy more support.

The deeper problem, namely the failed redistribution of refugees to other EU countries, has still not been solved despite two years of dialog.

Illegal migration has become a huge problem for Europe, with no easy solutions.

Immigration issues in New Zealand are tiny in comparison. Being isolated in a remote part of the southern Pacific Ocean makes us hard to get to and relatively easy to police.


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  1. Yesterday Corky posted:

    There are roughly 55,000 Muslims in New Zealand. Extrapolating the percentages in Trevor Phillips’ clip called ‘ What Muslims Really Believe,” means roughly 1000 Muslims in New Zealand support jihad, or would if needed, commit jihad.

    That refers to a documentary from the UK two years ago. It is nonsense to extrapolate the percentages and apply them to New Zealand.

    We don’t have open borders here like the UK had. We have much better controlled immigration. I’m not aware of any evidence of numbers of Muslims here who might “support jihad”. There is little sign of those sorts of issues here beyond what amounts to uninformed and irrelevant scaremongering.

    We have far bigger problems in New Zealand that are largely unrelated to immigration, like the horrendous levels of domestic and public violence.We would be far better to address real problems like that rather than trying to incite fear and ostracise groups that are not a disproportionate problem.

    • Corky

       /  4th July 2018

      I could counter argue this post very easily, but time will be the arbitrator on this issue. As it stands now Pete has the wood on me because his views are perceived as balanced and fair. Few would disagree with Pete. Conversely, I may be considered Islamophobic, which I have admitted to; a racist rightwing nut and any other insult currently en vogue.

      So let’s detour and have a look at some of Trevor Philips other work to see what type of person and researcher he is. Is he fair? Is he a liberal gone feral? Or a closet Conservative?

  2. ODT: Husband can stay, wife must go, immigration says

    She is a nurse, he is a herd manager on a Taieri dairy farm and has a commerce degree.
    But Harjinder (Harrie) and Pawandeep Chander’s future together is in jeopardy as Mrs Chander faces deportation to India.

    Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has deemed her husband’s employment ”lower skilled” and declined her application for a work visa.
    Last year, the Government announced a new policy to provide a one-off pathway to residency for about 1600 migrant workers and their families who have been living in the South Island for more than five years.

    Those eligible were granted an initial work to residence temporary visa, which made them eligible for residency after two years, provided they stayed in the same industry and region.

    They would then be granted a resident visa, with conditions requiring them to stay in the same South Island region for a further two years.

    With Mr Chander being out of the country for three months, he was 70 days short of the required five years’ residency and his application was declined.

    One possibility was for Mrs Chander to return to India and reapply, while completing the requirements to work as a nurse in New Zealand.


  3. David

     /  4th July 2018

    Mass migration of Muslims is proving incredibly unpopular right throughout Europe, about as popular as mass migration of Christians or Jews would be to Muslim countries and the election of right wing parties bears this out.
    Merkel has the added problem of Germany not far off slipping into recession and largely caused by her policy of gearing the whole economy to exporting. With tariffs coming, the diesel car scandal, being a massive creditor and talk of Deutsche Bank looking a bit wobbly its not looking good for her.

    • Gezza

       /  4th July 2018

      Mass migration of Muslims is proving incredibly unpopular right throughout Europe, about as popular as mass migration of Christians or Jews would be to Muslim countries

      Nailed it. And it’s not just a religion it’s an entire culture that’s based on a fundamental belief that is obvious bullshit – that Allah spoke to the warlord Muhammad thru the angel Gabriel over 23 years, whenever Muhammad needed something, & unchageably prescribed everything devout Muslims must think & do, right down to women being inferior to men in status & required to cover themselves up.

      While there are some Muslims who don’t probably don’t really buy in to all the rubbish in their religion, these days Islam is the most rigidly controlling of the 3 Abrahamic religions, & in increasingly educated & secular societies – which regularly challenge silly beliefs – or in Western societies still wallowing in their Christian beliefs & identities – inevitably there is cultural & religious abrasion, which will increase as Muslim numbers increase.

      Their Quran is chock full of rules & prescriptions about what Muslims must do & believe, & a load of other confused & tedious shite. So is the Old Testament – the Hebrew Bible – but Christians don’t adhere to that stuff any more. Muslims still do.

      Muslims should stay in Muslim countries until they grow out of Islam.

  4. David

     /  4th July 2018

    Its ironic Germany is now doing exactly what she condemned Hungary and Poland for doing. Denmark is introducing special legislation to deal with its Muslim ghetto,s, Sweden could end up with a very anti migrant government, the Austrian guy is quietly getting on with banning islamist preachers and shutting down mosques, the new socialist guy in Spain turned away a boat and everyone is closing boarders. Paris is a bloody sewer.
    David Cameron asked for what Merkel and other EU governments are now doing but she gave him nothing at all hence the referendum and now Brexit. Funny old world and not quite as utopian as the globalist lefties would like it.

    • MaureenW

       /  4th July 2018

      And Italy is sending a few warning shots to its invaders as well. Pack up and piss off.

      • David

         /  4th July 2018

        Italy has enough problems already with a sky high youth unemployment rate and some pretty awful government services let alone their massive debts and deficits, importing 600,000 migrants with all their issues is just bloody stupid.


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