Trump says Germans ‘turning against their leadership’ over immigration
Donald Trump has launched an unprecedented attack on Angela Merkel’s government, tweeting that “the people of Germany are turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the already tenuous Berlin coalition”.
While the US president has previously been openly critical of Germany’s export surplus and defence spending, he has refrained from openly criticising the country’s migration policy since taking office in 2017.
In November 2014, during the US presidential campaign, Trump called Merkel’s decision to keep open the country’s borders to Syrian refugees in the summer of 2015 “insane”.
In his latest tweet, Trump also said “crime in Germany is way up”. In May, Germany’s interior ministry recorded the lowest crime levels since 1992.
“Big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture!” he added.
In a second tweet, Trump noted: We don’t want what is happening with immigration in Europe to happen with us!
The US president’s tweets come just as Merkel has managed to buy time in a tense stand-off with her interior minister over new immigration curbs. She now faces a two-week deadline to find a European solution or risk the collapse of her governing coalition.
Interior minister Horst Seehofer, of the Bavarian sister-party to Merkel’s CDU, on Monday reiterated his desire for Germany to start turning away at the border any migrants who have already registered in another EU member state.
But Seehofer conceded that no such curbs would come into effect until after the European council summit on 28/29 June, with the two parties set to reconvene on 1 July.
Speaking in Berlin on Monday afternoon, Merkel said: “CDU and CSU have joint goal of better regulating migration into our country and considerably reduce the number of people who arrive here, so that a situation like the one we had in the year 2015 cannot and won’t happen again.”
But the chancellor insisted that Germany should not make unilateral changes to its migration policy and indicated that she would seek bilateral agreements with Italy, Greece and Austria over the coming two weeks.
“In the CDU we are of the conviction that German and European interests have to be considered together,” Merkel said.