Originally appeared at DWN, translated by Karin exclusively for SouthFront
Chancellor Angela Merkel indicated a turn in the refugee quotas in the EU. However, the only limitation there would be is the general rejection of Muslims. Thus the central conflict with Eastern Europe will continue to exist. Merkel still insists on her assessment that Germany would master the crisis.
On ARD on Sunday, Chancellor Angela Merkel, said where the EU refugee policy red line lies for her. No state can say: “We generally don’t want Muslims in our country,” she stressed. There must be more talks in the EU about this. By contrast, Merkel acknowledged that changes to the planned quota system for refugees in the EU are to be expected. But Merkel insists further on a pan-European solidarity about the refugee issue. “I believe that we must find a common solution and that everyone needs to do his share. How the individual components are weighted, we will see. ”
The background to this is, that some Eastern European countries only want to accept few or no refugees, but want to provide border guards for other EU countries or to participate in the financial support for the care of refugees in their home region. Possibly this could be taken into account for by the European Commission proposed allocation of refugees to the EU countries. The representatives of the Visegrad countries Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary submitted such ideas to the Chancellor at a meeting in Warsaw.
Important now are also partnerships with African countries, to curb the migratory pressure on the EU country Italy. There are currently many refugees and migrants arriving across the Mediterranean.
Merkel defended her course and defended herself against criticism from SPD leader Sigmar Gabriel. “We have decided everything together,” Merkel said on Sunday in the ARD summer interview. She would not participate in, “to say who has had more what kind of concerns”. The Vice Chancellor Gabriel distanced himself to Merkel. He accused the Union of a blockade in the integration of refugees. At the same time he defended CSU chief Horst Seehofer and his controversial demand for an upper limit for asylum seekers.
Merkel had decide a year ago – in early September 2015 – in the face of chaotic scenes along the Balkan route, to allow entry of large numbers of refugees to Germany without strict border controls. The earlier already rapid increase in the influx of asylum seekers from crisis and war zones grew again enormously. The decision and the further course led to serious distortions between Merkel and Seehofer. Now new resistance is coming from Gabriel’s side.
The SPD leader accused the Union of having underestimated the challenge. In the ZDF he explained, it is not enough for Merkel constantly saying: “We can do it”. The Chancellor and the Union would have to “create the conditions to be able to manage it well. And this was always blocked by the CDU / CSU.”
On Sunday in Berlin Gabriel defended Seehofers demand for a cap on admitting refugees. He stressed, though asylum knows no upper limit – as Merkel has said. But Seehofer is also right. “There are, of course, such a thing as an upper limit, which is ultimately the integration capacity of the country.”
Gabriel complained, the two positions of Merkel and Seehofer had “brutally been pit against each other” in the refugee debate. The SPD tried not get into this position, but to promote early refugee quotas, but was not able to achieve this. “I blame myself now personally, that I did not try for it harder,” he said.
The head of the SPD campaigned again for taking quotas of a certain number of refugees from Turkey, and said: “. ‘Quotas’ are, frankly, another word for upper limit'”
Merkel defended her refugee policy towards Gabriel blockade allegations. In recent months a lot of money has been used and the policies also have done much to improve safety in Germany. “We have decided everything together. We also have many things resolved very, very quickly”. Looking at this, one could “see what we all have achieved “.
Today Germany is very different then a year ago: Among other things, there is an integration law; the municipalities were relieved, there were tougher rules introduced for people without a perspective to stay. “We have worked diligently.”
Now it is important to decide together about measures for internal security in the next few weeks, said Merkel, who admitted: “I say clearly: There is more to do”
Her controversial sentence – “We can do it” – Merkel defended again. I’ve said these words “in view of a recognizable big task.” Behind it stands the motivation: “We can do it and when there is something in the way, we have to overcome it.”
Despite the opposition of many EU partners Merkel also holds on to a quota system for the distribution of refugees in the EU.
The Germans are split on the question whether Merkel should remain chancellor after the election in 2017. Every second citizen rejects a fourth term for her according to an Emnid poll for “Bild am Sonntag”. The number of supporters is with 42 percent a bit smaller.