Published: Fri, June 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

G-7 summit with Trump was a ‘sobering’ experience, Merkel says

G-7 summit with Trump was a ‘sobering’ experience, Merkel says

Merkel indicated she lobbied Trump to refrain from slapping tariffs on US vehicle imports from Europe, a measure that threatens to hit German carmakers the hardest.

The Bavarian "president", the CSU's Horst Seehofer, has said he has the authority to do it without her approval in his role as German interior minister.

Seehofer, of the Bavarian conservative CSU party, has put himself on a collision course with Merkel by proposing, as part of a national "migrant masterplan", that Germany ould turn away at the border migrants registered in other European Union states.

"We must decide who comes to Europe, not the smugglers", said Kurz, who is due to meet with Seehofer on Wednesday.

"Asylum tourism must end".

But the CSU was adamant that Germany "can't wait for another European Union summit", with its Bavarian state premier Markus Soeder declaring that "we must think about the local population, not just the rest of Europe".

Merkel "cannot prevent us from acting right now and doing what we are allowed to do legally", he added.

She has pledged to seek a negotiated response by the European Union, which holds its next summit on June 28-29, instead of Germany taking "unilateral steps at the expense of third parties" in the bloc.

The CSU has said it is not prepared to wait for two weeks.

China promises fast response if US hurts its interests
But Trump said this month ZTE could avoid the ban if it paid at least US$1 billion in penalties, among other things. It's not clear whether the administration will still target that amount with the list it reveals on Friday.

Merkel argues that Germany must not take the sudden and unilateral step of rejecting most asylum seekers at the border, which would heighten the burden for frontline countries like Italy, Greece and Spain. Then Merkel agreed to keep Germany's borders open, allowing nearly a million refugees to enter Germany amid dispute and disarray across Europe as many governments refused to cooperate.

The conservative bloc's coalition partner, the Social Democrats (SPD), came out on Friday in support of Merkel and criticized the conservatives' internal fighting.

Seehofer, who also created a new Heimat (homeland) ministry, has been a thorn in Merkel's side for years.

Some media in Germany have briefly fallen for a hoax tweet announcing that Interior Minister Horst Seehofer had broken up his Bavarian party's decades-old alliance with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives in a dispute over migration.

She could call a vote of confidence in herself in the Bundestag, risking a defeat and subsequent resignation, or she could sack Seehofer, destroying the CDU/CSU alliance and her parliamentary majority.

The drama is playing out ahead of local elections in Bavaria in October, with the far-right AfD party surging in polls, and with Seehofer, Dorbrindt, and Soeder, said to be vying for the presidency despite their show of unity.

The political deadlock ended in with the CDU and CSU agreeing to govern with the Social Democrats (SPD). The centrists in Germany have also suffered historically poor results, with the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) forming the biggest opposition party in parliament.

"Acts of drama meant to serve the cause of regional elections aren't appropriate here", the party's head, Andrea Nahles, said on Thursday.

"You could of course say that in time of disruptive change, completely different methods are needed", she said.

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