Migration is an issue that demands a European solution, German Chancellor Angela Merkel insisted on Saturday, giving no ground in a showdown with her Bavarian allies that threatens her three-month-old coalition.
The row is over Merkel’s rejection of plans by Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, from Bavaria, for Germany unilaterally to send back migrants who have registered in other European Union countries.
Such a reversal of her 2015 open-door migrant policy would be a huge blow to the authority of Merkel, in power for more than 12 years, and undermine the Schengen open-border system at a time when EU tensions over migration are running high.
In her weekly podcast, three days before talks between Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron outside Berlin, the chancellor hammered home her stance:
“This is a European challenge that also needs a European solution. And I view this issue as decisive for keeping Europe together,” she said.