Bavarian CSU call for drastic tightening of immigration laws

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Bavarian CSU call for drastic tightening of immigration laws
Horst Seehofer, leader of the CSU, has been accused of pub politics by critics. Photo: DPA

The conservative Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) published a policy paper on Thursday demanding wholesale changes to German immigration laws, placing further pressure on the embattled Angela Merkel.


The document puts forward a raft of demands, some old some new, adding to tension between the ultra-conservative CSU and the more mainstream CDU, led by Chancellor Merkel.

It calls for an upper limit of 200,000 to the number of asylum seekers Germany accepts each year and for no one to be allowed inside Germany before they have been given a right to asylum.

It also includes rules which would affect migrants more generally, such as the abolition of dual citizenship and "the banning of the burqa in public to the greatest extent that is legally possible."

"Whoever doesn't want to do without a burqa or niqab can find another country to live in."

The document claims to be standing up for "German values" against multiculturalism.

“In the future, priority must be given to migrants who come from our Christian western cultural area,” the paper states. “Such a law would be a clear deterrent to illegal migration. A state should be able to decide for itself whom it accepts. Migrants shouldn’t be the ones making the decision.”

“Germany must remain German. We are against the notion that our weltoffen [world-open] country is changed by migration and refugees. We shouldn’t be the ones who adjust to migrants, the opposite should be true.”

The CSU are a political anomaly in Germany, only standing for election in Bavaria, where the CDU have no presence. The two parties have always had an alliance at the federal level while remaining organizationally distinct.

Securing the support of the CSU leader is key for a CDU chief who is seeking the chancellorship. But so far CSU boss Horst Seehofer has refused to say whether he will endorse Merkel for next year's general election.

Instead he has accused her of being responsible for a stunning loss to the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) in a state election on Sunday in northeastern Germany, and has been highly critical of her refugee policy.

Seehofer's critics meanwhile have long charged him with indulging in a "pub politics" that pander to the rhetoric of the far right.

Leader of the Green Party Simone Peter described the CSU policy paper as “vulgar and highly alarming.”

“The CSU have decisively said goodbye to accepted morality,” she tweeted.

Chancellor Merkel, speaking to the Bundestag (German parliament) on Wednesday appeared to indirectly attack Seehofer when she accused some politicians of aiding "those who deploy slogans and simple answers.” by trying to "win small advantages over one another so that we look clean when the elections come around."


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