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The CSU is threatening to disprove refugees at the German border on its own, if necessary. An unprecedented escalation. Is the Chancellor shaking?

Union crisis: A test of power from Bavaria

The CSU is threatening to disprove refugees at the German border on its own, if necessary. An unprecedented escalation. Is the Chancellor shaking?

Union crisis: A test of power from Bavaria
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  • Page 1 — Power sample from Bavaria
  • Page 2 — "We are arguing about a plan that no one Knows"
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    Presumably, Bundestag president Wolfgang Schäuble knows that it will be a historic day in Bundestag when he interrupts current session of Parliament in morning. The dispute between CDU and CSU on refugee policy has also not been resolved by a summit meeting on eve. That is why both sides now want to retire to group meetings. Meetings mind you. Each for himself, in separate rooms.

    When it last existed, veteran parliamentarians cannot remember it on demand. In fact, CDU and CSU form a common group, and this has been foundation of Federal Republic. The Conservative MPs from Bavaria and rest of Republic usually meet, only 1976 times re was a short crisis. Is ratio now irreparably damaged? In any case, Schäuble will later talk to CDU parliamentarians: some people do not even know what y are doing.

    How did it get that far?

    But it was also an escalation with announcement. CSU and CDU have long argued for refugee policy. But in past days conflict had hardened: Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer wants to discontinue refugees from German border if y have already applied for asylum in anor EU country.

    The Chancellor is against it, says it contradicts European law. and customs of EU, where we are looking for solutions toger. The CDU is striving for a compromise.

    But after hours of meetings, CSU is openly threatening to face chancellor, i.e. against its policy competence. That could mean end of grand coalition. And end of Union.

    To understand how it could have come so far, you have to look back ten days.

    Alexander Dobrindt, national group leader of CSU and notorious radiator of his party, has invited one of his press tables. He announces: The following week, Horst Seehofer will present his so-called Master plan for Migration. It will say: in future, Germany should be able to reject refugees at border if y have already lodged an application for asylum in anor EU country. So far se refugees have been able to enter Germany, ir claim to stay in Federal Republic is being examined – which can take several months. Only n can y be rejected – provided that or EU country takes m back.

    Merkel threatened to overturn – now she has CDU behind him

    This is common interpretation of EU law and core of Angela Merkel's refugee policy. When Chancellor comes back from Canada last weekend after G7 summit and gives a TV interview, she is questioned about Seehofer plans – and gives m a very clear rejection. The presentation planned by interior minister on Tuesday of this week will be cancelled. In a joint group meeting on Tuesday afternoon, a number of Merkel critics in CDU are speaking out. They support openly seehofer. The mood in ir own party threatens to topple Merkel, so it works.

    The CSU recognizes that. She stays hard and resets. In Munich, CSU Landtag Group decides in same spirit: we do not move a millimeter. The Bavarian prime minister, Markus Söder, and CSU general secretary Markus Blume also publicly say this. On Wednesday evening, Merkel, Seehofer, Söder and Hessian prime Minister will sit down toger. Merkel offers a compromise: instead of rejecting directly at border, she wants to conclude bilateral agreements in order to be able to bring refugees back to countries like Italy more quickly.

    The CSU does not want to know about Merkel's compromise

    That would be a middle ground. Merkel actually prefers an EU-wide solution. But she also sees that many in her party are slowly missing imagination. After all, Member States of European Union are notoriously divided.

    The meeting ends late in evening with no result. With bilateral agreements, Merkel believes that she has been very much in agreement with CSU. But Christian social remains stubborn. On Thursday morning, Söder is opposed to possible compromise. Rejection or nothing, that's his message.

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