German interior ministers gives annual ‘summer’ interview following rift with Chancellor

German interior ministers gives annual ‘summer’ interview following rift with Chancellor

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer will appear on German television to give a summer interview focusing on migration policy. Mr

Statements after exploratory talks about forming a new coalition government at the SPD headquarters in Berlin

Photo: Reuters/Hannibal Hanschke

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer will appear on German television to give a summer interview focusing on migration policy.

Mr Seehofer heads the Christian Social Union (CSU), the conservative Bavarian sister party of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union. In late June, Seehofer threatened to abandon the coalition unless Chancellor Merkel took a tougher stance on migrant policy. The pair compromised in early July, saving the coalition government.

Chancellor Merkel gave key concessions to the CSU chairman, agreeing to cap asylum seeker intake at 200,000 per year, turn away asylum seekers coming from 14 other EU countries, and construct asylum centres to hold incoming migrants.

The CSU is in dire need of a boost from today’s interview with its chairman. Since Mr Seehofer’s spat with Chancellor Merkel, the CSU has polled at 40% ahead of October’s regional elections in Bavaria. Thus, the CSU is likely to lose its absolute majority in its home state for only the second time in 50 years. Should the CSU drift farther to the right on migrant policy, while also losing support from its Bavarian base, the party may eventually lose its place in the national governing coalition.

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