Germany has proposed tightening its borders to some asylum seekers. That compromise could leave neighboring Austria in a risky position, and they’re threatening to retaliate.
CGTN’s Guy Henderson reports from Berlin.
“We are prepared for all scenarios and are prepared to adopt any number of measures that are necessary to prevent any negative impact on our republic and the Austrian people,” Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said.
Those comments haven’t deterred German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer. He wants migrant transit centers opened “as soon as possible” after Monday night’s deal.
That will mean refusing entry to some asylum seekers at the Bavarian border. However, Vienna doesn’t want them either. Seehofer will head to the area on Thursday to try and ease Austrian concerns if the deal stands.
Merkel’s other coalition partner, the center-left Social Democratic Party (SDP), is voicing big doubts about it.
“We know that there must not even be a suspicion that a German Chancellor is open to blackmail. Seehofer blackmailed the government and he blackmailed Chancellor Merkel which is an unbelievable occurrence,” Sigmar Gabriel of the SDP said.
Merkel’s concessions were aimed at saving her fragile coalition government. They may yet lead to putting further strain on it. The fact that she was successfully bullied into it may also embolden her critics, both inside Germany and in other European capitals.