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Merkel says climate change is ‘a fact,’ laments US stance

20 June 2018
Merkel says climate change is ‘a fact,’ laments US stance

This comment was made after it emerged that Germany's interior minister Horst Seehofer, leader of the CSU Party which has formed a coalition with Merkel's own CDU, is calling for tougher immigration laws in defiance of the Chancellor's existing stance on the matter.

The CSU exists only in Bavaria, while Merkel's less conservative CDU is in Germany's other 15 states.

Addressing reporters in Berlin after her meeting, Merkel called the dispute "a very hard situation" but insisted that "the CDU and the CSU have the common goal of improving regulation of migration in our country".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel insisted Saturday that migration is "a European challenge that needs a European answer" amid a dispute over the issue inside her government and ahead of a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron. He called it a "big mistake" for Europe to admit large numbers of migrants.

Calling for tough action against illegal immigration, Trump declared the U.S. "will not be a migrant camp" on his watch. "Crime in Germany is way up".

France and Germany are also pushing for a new European Union agreement on managing migrants and asylum seekers entering the bloc at the meeting in Germany.

"Germany also has a head of government", he said of Merkel, saying it was she who was "responsible before her people and her parliament". He said all 28 European Union member states had to be involved.

Many in Brussels say that the window of opportunity is closing down and the June summit will be decisive.

The agency, which cited unnamed participants at an ongoing meeting in Munich of the leadership of Seehofer's Christian Social Union party, said that if no agreements with other European Union partners are reached by then, the idea would be to start turning back some migrants at Germany's border.

Seehofer, leader of the CSU, which formed a coalition with Merkel's CDU party, said he wanted to shut the borders to all asylum seekers who have already been registered in other European Union countries en route to Germany.

The flow of migrants has slowed since 2016, but it remains higher than it was in the years before the Syrian war.

As outspoken pro-Europeans, Merkel and Macron both face harsh opposition from nationalist and right-wing populist forces at home, and in the governments of Italy, Austria and several eastern European countries. Her room for manoeuvre in this question will remain constrained.

Trump announced previous year that the US will pull out of the accord negotiated by his predecessor unless he can "get a better deal". Seehofer asked, what's the point of an order barring someone's entry into Germany if that person learns there are no consequences?

At the weekend, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and his German counterpart Olaf Scholz met in Hamburg to try to resolve much of the nitty-gritty before Merkel and Macron meet.

"France and Germany will ensure that those who are registered in a Schengen zone country can be taken back as quickly as possible to the country where they were registered", he said, vowing to achieve this through bilateral and multi-national agreements.

The office said in an annual report that 728,470 application requests were made for global protection in 2017, compared with nearly 1.3 million applications the previous year.