German coalition talk on refugee crisis fails

Germany’s coalition talks over refugee crisis fails to reach agreement, talks will continue

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Refugees are escorted by German police to a registration centre, after crossing the Austrian-German border in Wegscheid near Passau, Germany on November 1 2015

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's meeting over the refugee crisis with Horst Seehofer and Sigmar Gabriel, the leaders of the coalition parties, failed to reach an agreement on Sunday.

"The three leaders of the coalition parties held constructive talks on all aspects of the refugee situation and will gather again on Thursday ahead of a conference of German state leaders," Steffen Seibert, spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel, said in a statement.

"They agree on several points, as well as on several points that still need to be resolved including the issue of 'transit zones,'" he continued.

Some parliamentarians among Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) and her ally Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) demand “transit zones” to be created on Germany’s borders that will carry out the processes and deport refugees who do not fulfill the necessary asylum criteria much more quickly.

Social Democrats (SPD), on the other had oppose the “transit zone” proposal and instead offer a counter-proposal with Germany’s 16 states to create registration centres for the asylum seekers.

Sigmar Gabriel, Vice Chancellor and chairman of SPD, earlier said that his Social Democrats wouldn't back a system that entails people being interned at the border.

Merkel called an emergency meeting after her ally Horst Seehofer of CSU threatened her with lodging a legal complaint if Berlin does not limit new arrivals earlier in October.

Bavaria is a wealthy border state with Austria where most of the refugees enter Germany.

Germany, which expects between 800,000 to one million refugees to arrive this year, has brought some limitations to stop the influx of asylum seekers.

These include limiting political asylum rights to exceptional cases for Balkan countries, from which some 15,000 people have applied for asylum in the first half the year, quickening the expulsion procedure for those rejected.

TRTWorld and agencies