Home / China / World

Merkel rebuffs pressure from her party to get tougher on refugees

By Reuters in Berlin | China Daily | Updated: 2015-10-15 07:45

German Chancellor Angela Merkel resisted pressure from her own conservatives on Tuesday to tighten Germany's border controls and turn away refugees arriving via Austria, participants at a meeting of lawmakers said.

Germany, a favored destination for refugees fleeing war in the Middle East and others hoping to improve their economic circumstances, expects a record 800,000 to 1 million asylum seekers to arrive this year.

The influx is proving a major logistical challenge, straining resources as the authorities struggle to register and house all the new arrivals, some of whom remain in tents as winter approaches.

Merkel's popularity ratings have slumped to a four-year low and some members of her Christian Democratic Union and their Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, want her to take a tougher line through comprehensive border controls.

"We mustn't raise the white flag," said CDU lawmaker Clemens Binninger.

The conservatives' parliamentary leaders estimate that around a fifth of their lawmakers hold similar views on toughening policies toward refugees.

But participants at Tuesday's meeting said Merkel rejected calls from some of the lawmakers for refugees arriving from Austria to be turned away.

If Germany took such a course, it would have disastrous consequences for all countries on the asylum seekers' route from the Balkans, as Austria and Hungary would then have to turn away refugees as well, Merkel reportedly told the meeting.

Instead, Merkel said she would seek greater cooperation with Turkey to stem migration during planned talks this weekend, though she gave no promises on how quickly that could be achieved.


Editor's picks
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349