Refugee Row

A Grand Debacle

Chancellor Angela Merkel faces fierce opposition from Bavarian politician Horst Seehofer. Source: Reuters
Chancellor Angela Merkel faces fierce opposition from her coalition partners.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    As Germany gears up for elections in 2017, voters will be carefully monitoring the cracks in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition for signs leaders can’t deal with the influx of asylum seekers.

  • Facts


    • Up to 10,000 refugees continue to cross into Germany every day.
    • The ruling right-left coalition is fraying over what to do about the massive influx.
    • A government crisis summit this Sunday was inconclusive as the center-left SPD rejected their conservative partners’ plans.
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What’s the difference between a refugee transit zone and a reception center? Don’t know? Neither do most German voters.

German politicians in the ruling right-left Grand Coalition might know better, but that isn’t helping them deal with the refugee crisis.

That’s because the recent three-way spat between the center-right Christian Democratic Union, its Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union, and their center-left coalition partner, the Social Democratic Party (SPD), isn’t about securing Germany’s borders.

Instead, the coalition has reached an impasse: Politicians now lack the will to bring the country further along, and it’s happening in an acute hour of need.

So what is motivating Germany’s leaders? Certainly not the drive to reach a reasonable consensus solution to a very pressing problem.

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