German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer on Monday relaxed the ultimatum he had given Chancellor Angela Merkel to deny entry to immigrants registered in other parts of the European Union, Reuters reported. Seehofer is a member of the Christian Social Union, an ally of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union.
Merkel rejected his ultimatum during a press conference while saying that an outright rejection of immigrants would have a domino effect, DW News reported. The Christian Democratic Union held negotiations with the Christian Social Union on Sunday and agreed to hold off any action until the European Union summit scheduled for June-end. Merkel said she would hold discussions with other European Union members on the matter and report back on July 1.
“No one in the Christian Social Union is interested in bringing the chancellor down, or dissolving the parliamentary partnership or destroying the coalition,” The Guardian quoted Seehofer as telling the Bild am Sonntag newspaper. The interior minister said he did not want the disagreement to threaten the less than 100-day-old coalition.
Seehofer had initially proposed an immediate rejection of immigrants but later agreed to a phased implementation of the plan which contradicts Merkel’s stance on the matter.
Merkel is also scheduled to host newly elected and anti-immigration Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte.
Meanwhile, United States President Donald Trump tweeted that Germans are “turning against their leaders” over immigration. “The people of Germany are turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the already tenuous Berlin coalition,” he said on Twitter. “Crime in Germany is way up. Big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture! We don’t want what is happening with immigration in Europe to happen with us!”
Trump’s administration has been criticised for being anti-immigration. His wife and First Lady Melania Trump on Monday issued a rare statement calling for an end to migrant families being separated at US border.