“Have you gone mad?”

Horst Seehofer reaps criticism from his own ranks © Jens Buttner

The former Bavarian Minister of Culture and former ZdK President Hans Maier has sharply criticized his party in the asylum dispute. Threatening to dissolve the parliamentary grouping would mean threatening one's own suicide, according to Maier.

In a letter to the CSU parliamentary group, which is available to the Catholic News Agency (KNA), the former Bavarian Minister of Culture Hans Maier asks the members of parliament: "Have you all gone crazy??"If the parliamentary grouping is terminated, the CDU in Bavaria can act as an independent party. The dominance of the CSU would then be "definitely over" in the Free State, in Franconia and Swabia quickly, in Old Bavaria slowly. "So threatening to dissolve the caucus means threatening your own suicide," Maier said.

In Bavaria, the CSU stands for the CDU. This "presupposes a common program and also a common appearance in the Bundestag," Maier emphasized. If both were eliminated, the parties would appear independently with controversial profiles. He himself had experienced the dissolution of the faction community threatened by Franz-Josef Straub in 1976 at that time from next proximity. "It began with grandiose announcements, but quickly came to an end when Helmut Kohl threatened to invade Bavaria with the CDU (and had prepared everything necessary to do so)," recalls Maier, who was also president of the Central Committee of German Catholics from 1976 to 1988. He concludes his letter "with a shake of the head and a remnant of hope in belated insight".

Merkel reaffirms European response in asylum dispute

In the Berlin dispute over future refugee policy, the voices of caution are increasing. Calls for a responsible solution are coming from inside and outside the Union. In the asylum dispute, German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has reiterated the importance of an EU-wide solution.

"This is a European challenge that also needs a European response," she said Saturday in her weekly video podcast. At the same time, the chancellor said she considers the handling of the refugee ie to be one of the crucial ies for European cohesion.

The Chancellor wants to negotiate this with the EU partners at an EU summit at the end of June. For this she has the backing of the CDU. However, German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) has threatened to single-handedly turn back at the border refugees who have already applied for asylum in another EU country. As early as Monday, he wants to discuss the ie with the CSU executive committee.

"We must have an asylum law that is valid throughout Europe

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned Saturday against national go-it-alone policies on refugees. "We must have an asylum law that applies throughout Europe," he told the radio station B5 aktuell of the Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation . He called on the member states to take directional decisions.

In Deutschlandfunk's "Interview of the Week," German Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) also stressed that the refugee crisis is a pan-European task. He appealed to the quarreling Union parties in Berlin to resolve their disputes in the spirit of responsibility for Germany. "If you look at the state of other European democracies, we in Germany are not allowed to go down these paths and therefore also forbid ourselves such forms of debate in a joint government," he said.

Former Bavarian Prime Minister Gunther Beckstein expressed his conviction that the CDU and CSU factional alliance will not break apart over the dispute. "That does not carry this question," Beckstein told BR's Bayern2 radio station. In a family you have to "endure different opinions from time to time" and there is "possibly already that someone is annoyed, perhaps also publicly annoyed.".

Maximum 200.000 refugees per year

The German Association of Towns and Municipalities considers the asylum dispute to be overrated in view of the current situation. "The fact is that the situation is calm at the moment," CEO Gerd Landsberg told the Neue Osnabrucker Zeitung on Saturday. The number of 200.000 refugees per year is currently not exceeded, and this is not to be expected either.

In the first five months of 2018, according to reports in the "Passauer Neue Presse" on Saturday, around 78.000 people apply for asylum. By mid-June, a good 18.000 asylum seekers had been admitted who had already been registered in the so-called Eurodac file and thus had to complete their asylum procedure in another EU country. The newspaper referred to figures from the Federal Ministry of the Interior, which it will presumably publish on Monday.

Landsberg stressed that there was no change of mood against refugees after the recent acts of violence by asylum seekers. "The municipalities are canvassing the population not to use these terrible events to place all refugees under general suspicion."

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