Merkel ally backpedals on migration cooperation

2015-11-04 19:45
(Photo: David Gannon, AFP)

(Photo: David Gannon, AFP)

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Berlin - The leader of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's sister party has made a U-turn from his pledge to co-operate on managing the country's refugee crisis.

Horst Seehofer, premier of the south-eastern border state of Bavaria and head of the Christian Social Union (CSU), showed solidarity with Merkel at a Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party congress a day earlier, pledging to work together in managing the thousands of refugees streaming across German borders.

But Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said Wednesday that Seehofer's CSU government has asked a former Constitutional Court judge to examine whether Berlin's migration policies have constitutionally violated Bavaria's sovereignty.

Former judge Udo di Fabio told the Tagesspiegel daily that he is expected to prepare an "open and unbiased" expert opinion, something that often leads to formal court complaints.

Bavaria is the main German entry point for migrants, and Seehofer had previously threatened self-defence measures if the federal government did not take steps to limit the influx at the state's border with Austria.

Approximately 3 000 people were waiting at three border crossings in Lower Bavaria early Wednesday, with the majority refugees fleeing war and persecution in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere.

Merkel and Seehofer had at the weekend outlined a deal that would create transit zones where asylum seekers could be held outside Germany while their application was processed - a long-standing demand of the Bavarian premier.

Read more on:    angela merkel  |  germany  |  migrants

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