Author: LATIFA YEDROUDJ
ANGELA Merkel has admitted the entire Schengen zone is “at risk” as she stares down the barrel of a devastating migrant crisis defeat in Germany and Brussels.
The German Chancellor said the free movement zone could collapse completely after Italy refused to sign up to her migrant policy during last week’s EU Summit.
Mrs Merkel has faced a severe backlash over her EU migration talks, with Italy refusing to sign up to her policy and her coalition partner threatening to pull the plug on their shaky government.
Last night Germany’s Christian Social Union party leader, Horst Seehofer, threatened to quit the union over Ms Merkel’s immigration plans, sending her party towards the “brink of collapse”.
Ms Merkel is set for crunch talks with Mr Seehofer today “in hopes of reaching an understanding”, in a bid to save her government after the CSU leader warned to resign from his cabinet post, following his disapproval over Ms Merkel’s migration plans.
Mr Seehofer expressed his dissatisfaction with the deal Ms Merkel achieved at the EU immigration summit on Friday, insisting the plan was “ineffective”, a source revealed.
Speaking to German TV station Zdf, Ms Merkel said: “An agreement with Italy was not possible. Italy wants to get a reduction of the migrants arriving in the country. The premier (Giuseppe Conte) said that they had the impression of being left alone a long time ago.
“Everyone knows that there is a lot at stake, and everyone knows that the situation is serious.
“I understand the concern of the CSU of wanting to bring more order into border controls. I think I met Horst Seehofer’s request.”
The German chancellor added that an agreement with Italy was not possible “at the moment”, but insisted that leaders “must continue talks” as “the whole Schengen system is at risk” if no effective agreement is met.
She also insisted she was for “the protection of the Union” which she says will remain “strong if united”.
Tensions in Berlin’s coalition continue to rise, as German’s interior minister urged Ms Merkel to close Berlin’s border to asylum seekers following the 2015 EU migration crisis.
The Germany’s Bavarian sister party have repeatedly disapproved Ms Merkel’s policies over her handling the millions of refugees entering Germany, insisting that she shut Berlin’s borders.
On the Friday summit, European leaders discussed plans for the creation of “controlled centres” in the EU, where refugees entering Europe will be assessed on whether they require asylum.
The centres, set to replace refugee camps, will house migrants for a limited period time as authorities will “quickly” test their eligibility to apply for asylum.
However, these centres are set to operate on a voluntary basis and no European country – neither Italy nor Hungary – has agreed to set them up.
Andrea Marcucci, the leader of the Democratic Party in Italy wrote on Twitter: “For once, Salvini is right.
“Conte’s mission to the European council was a real flop.
“The reform of Dublin, has not been touched. It is a victory for Orban and for Hungary, a defeat for Italy and for the Government of Change.
“They have taken 629 migrants hostage to shoot a commercial campaign and to win the ballots, certainly not to change the rules in Europe”.