Merkel allies demand priority given to Christian migrants in future

Angela Merkel's political allies have increased their pressure on the chancellor to toughen up the nation's immigration and refugee laws by demanding priority be given to migrants with a Western, Christian cultural background.

"In the future, priority must be given to immigrants from our Western, Christian culture," the Bavarian-based Christian Social Union (CSU) said in a paper in the hands of dpa.

"Such a law would be a clear rejection of illegal migration," said the CSU, which is the sister party of Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

"A state must decide for itself whom it takes in, not the immigrants," said the CSU, which has also called for an annual upper limit of 200,000 to be placed on the number of refugees entering Germany and a ban on the full-face veil worn by Muslim women.

The paper, which has been prepared for a CSU meeting of the party's leaders on Friday and Saturday, described the burqa and niqab as "an Islamic uniform," saying they should be banned wherever possible in public life.

"Germany must remain Germany" the CSU declared, which echoes comments also made by Merkel.

A year ago Merkel opened her nation's borders to allow refugees stranded in Hungary to travel to Germany.

Since then about 1 million refugees, mainly fleeing wars in the Middle East and Africa, have entered Germany.

CSU chief and Bavarian Premier Horst Seehofer has spearheaded criticism of Merkel's handling of the refugee crisis, with his state at the frontline of migrants entering Germany, and has called on the chancellor to impose border controls.

"Our country is open to the world, but we are opposed to it being changed through immigration or flows of refugees," the CSU said.

"Therefore, the party reaffirms its determination to anchor the existing dominant culture (as opposed to multiculturalism) in the Bavarian state constitution," the CSU.

A leading CDU lawmaker Michael Fuchs hit back at the CSU's stance saying in TV interview: "Everyone has the right to come to us if they are really refugees and if they really come from dangerous areas."

It does not matter whether someone is a Syrian from Aleppo, or Yezidi, Muslim or Christian, Fuchs said, reflecting the asylum provisions of the German constitution.

The CSU paper also called for the end of dual citizenship, along with moves to accelerate the deportation of those not entitled to asylum in Germany.

In addition, the party again demanded that Berlin set up so-called transit zones along Germany's borders to process refugees before they enter the nation.

The CSU has renewed its attack on Merkel over her liberal refugee policy after the CDU was beaten into a third place in a weekend election in the north-eastern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern following a surge in support for the new right-wing nationalist Alternative for Germany (AfD).

The outcome of the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern poll is likely to set the stage for a further setback for the CDU in the local elections in the central state of Lower Saxony and the Berlin city state also to be held this month.

Last update: Thu, 08/09/2016 - 12:10

More from Europe

Merkel's deputy seeks economic pivot to Asia with Trump in office

German Economics Minister Sigmar Gabriel has called for a new economic policy towards Asia following the...

Vienna on high alert after police arrest terrorism suspect

A terrorist attack in Vienna was averted Friday when police arrested a suspect, according to the country's interior...

Woman, four children pulled from Italian avalanche-struck hotel

A woman and four children were extracted alive from the rubble of an Italian hotel Friday, days after it was struck...

Merkel not watching Trump inauguration, as US-German business warns

The American Chamber of Commerce in Germany warned incoming US president Donald Trump on Friday against leading the...

Report: Eight survivors, two children found in Italy hotel

Italian rescuers located a total of eight survivors, including two girls, at a central Italian hotel that was...