MERKEL GONE IN A WEEK?

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By ALESSANDRA SCOTTO DI SANTOLO

GERMAN Chancellor Angela Merkel could lose her powerful seat in the heart of Europe as soon as next week amid clashes within her coalition Government over EU migration policies, claimed German MP Kai Whittaker.

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

The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) politician said it was still unclear in Berlin what the essence of the disagreement between the Chancellor and Mr Seehofer was and that other members of the coalition had been left “in the blue”.

Mr Whittaker said: “We are in a serious situation because the question of the migration crisis evolved into a power question.

“The question is who is leading the Government? Is it Angela Merkel or is it Horst Seehofer?

angela merkel germany migration crisis bundestag kai whittaker

“Everybody seems to be standing firm and that’s the problem.”

Asked what the German Chancellor and her interior minister are clashing over, he replied: “We don’t know really. There is a master plan to solve the migration crisis, which consists of 63 ideas of Horst Seehofer.

“We don’t know that concept yet, so we are a bit in the blue.

“This must have to do with the coming election in Bavaria because it is vital for the Conservatives to win an overall majority because that’s why they have a national importance.

“This kind of has the potential to diminish the authority of her and Horts Seehofer and it could well be that at the end of next week we have a new situation.

“Probably a new Chancellor.”

Mr Seehofer, of the Christian Social Union (CSU), has often voiced his hostility towards Mrs Merkel’s open border policy, which brought more than a million refugees in the country in 2015.

He pushed for police forces to have the power to turn away undocumented migrants at the border if they are already registered in another European Union country.

But Mrs Merkel opposes to such measure and has held emergency talks with members of her party to look for support.

Despite them pledging to back her, her MPs are also demanding a change in Germany’s “open-door” migration policy.

And CSU MPs already declared they will support their leader, Mr Seehofer.

The rift puts Mrs Merkel in an awkward situation as she is facing a serious challenge to her authority which could limit her ability to negotiate with other EU state members.

And her own position as a Chancellor is under threat because a walkout of CSU MPs from the coalition would see her losing a majority in Parliament.

The plan proposed by Mr Seehofer would replace an already existing EU rule, which allows Germany to send asylum-seekers back to the first member state they entered.

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