Donald Trump weighs in on German immigration debate

Donald Trump weighs in on German immigration debate

Speaking on BBC World at One, the German politician claimed clashes between Angela Merkel and German interior minister Horst Seehofer could result in a "new political situation" in Germany by the end of next week.

Germany, the strongest economy in the 28-nation European Union, was once a leader in the fight against climate change but has fallen behind in recent years.

Bavarian governor Markus Soeder and the party's top federal lawmaker, Alexander Dobrindt, have been even more vehement than Seehofer in demanding immediate action on migration. The CSU lost thousands of voters to the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party in federal elections previous year, and is fearful of further losses.

A CSU leadership meeting Monday in Munich is likely to authorise Seehofer to go ahead with his plan - but it's unclear at what point leaders want it to take effect. Merkel blocked the planned rollout last week, arguing that a bloc-wide solution is needed to what is a European problem.

But the crisis shaking the new administration has come from within Merkel's own conservative family, as her interior minister has pushed for Germany to turn back unilaterally some migrants at its border.

As an immigration crisis unfolds at home on the United States' border with Mexico, President Donald Trump trained his ire Monday morning on Germany, a country he falsely said has a rising crime rate.

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"After the European Council, the (CDU) party presidency will decide what to do next", she told a news conference.

There is, she insisted, "nothing automatic" about what happens next.

Under what is known as the Schengen Agreement, most countries in the bloc allow foreigners who enter one member state to cross into others without showing their passports or clearing customs. Merkel said she will have to discuss "what is important for others; I can't say today what that is".

Seehofer's party met in Munich to affirm its backing for his so-called migration masterplan comprising 63 measures, the most contentious of which is to start turning migrants away.

"We wish the chancellor success in this", he said.

"We know climate change isn't a matter of faith", she told an worldwide climate meeting in Berlin.

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Seehofer, who took on the interior ministry portfolio less than 100 days ago, said he had only recently learnt that migrants who had already been denied asylum by Germany and been issued re-entry bans were still being allowed back in.

The spat over immigration has laid bare the deep tensions in a fractious German coalition government that took office only in March, after almost six months of post-election haggling, and exposed the limits of Ms Merkel's powers. The two parties are part of the same overall coalition running Germany. "Angela Merkel and Horst Seehofer simply must pull together", he said, warning that the alternative would be "chaos".

Merkel has had an often-tense history with Seehofer, and their relationship became really hard after Merkel's 2015 decision to keep Germany's borders open as migrants streamed across the Balkans.

Most first arrived in Bavaria, which borders Austria.

Leaving aside the fact that Germany has vastly different immigration patterns than the US and a shorter history of welcoming immigrants, Mr. Trump's claim that crime is up in Germany is objectively false.

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