World Bulletin / News Desk
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Bavarian ally Horst Seehofer said Friday that while the two differ on the refugee crisis, they must now focus on a joint fight to prevent a leftist government.
Less than a year before national elections, Seehofer told a congress of his CSU party that he remains committed to a national upper limit of 200,000 asylum seekers a year -- compared to the nearly 900,000 who arrived last year.
The Bavarian state premier said that as he and Merkel disagreed on this point, she had stayed away from the party congress because neither side wanted to feign a "dishonest compromise".
"On this question I will not sell the soul of the CSU," Seehofer said to applause, adding however that talks between the traditional allies, the CSU and Merkel's CDU, were otherwise going well.
“Only with a cap of 200,000 newcomers per year can their integration be guaranteed. We also have to look at the causes that push them away from their homelands,” said the politician, contradicting official government policy.
Looking ahead, he said, the common cause of the CDU-CSU must be to prevent a leftist alliance after September 2017 elections of the Social Democrats, Greens and far-left Linke, which succeeded communist East Germany's Socialist Unity Party or SED.
"Our enemy is not CDU, we've always had different views on this or that point," Seehofer told party faithful in conciliatory words toward Merkel after a bruising year.
"The enemy is red-red-green," as the suggested three-party alliance is known in Germany's colour-coded political jargon.
Seehofer said he did not want to see the day "when the SED's grandchildren return to government in Germany" and vowed that the CSU would always be "a bastion against a leftist front".
Seehofer also attacked Merkel’s and EU’s policy towards Turkey’s gradual integration into the EU. Ankara, which is helping stem the flood of asylum seekers into Europe, has been expecting a visa-free regime with Europe, and Turkish EU membership issue still remains on the table.
“For a country that wanted to introduce the death penalty, a country that arrests journalists and politicians almost daily, a country that violates fundamental rights – for such a country there can be no visa-free travel,” said Seehofer. “At the very least, there should be no talks of EU accession.”
Last Mod: 05 Kasım 2016, 17:26