Greens set Angela Merkel up

Greens set Angela Merkel up

The German Federal Council (Bundesrat) rejected the draft law proposed by the German government classifying Maghreb states as safe countries of origin, which would allow Germany to refuse giving citizens of these countries refugee status much more quickly. So the attempt of the CDU/CSU ruling parties to ease the migration crisis by reaching agreements with the governments of Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria has failed because of opposition's, primarily the Green Party, actions.

Now it will be much harder for Germany to "get rid" of North African guests, which puts Merkel's government in a pretty difficult situation. Debates about the behavior of immigrants from North Africa in Germany started after 2016 New Year's Eve, when hundreds of German women in Cologne and other major cities of the country were attacked by organized groups of migrants from Maghreb states. Mass cases of thievery and sexual harassment by criminal elements, as well as ineffective work of the police, angered the German public, strongly strengthening anti-migrant sentiments in the country, thereby improving the positions of right-wing populists. Due to that, the police took unprecedented security measures on 2017 New Year's Eve, surrounding the area around Cologne Cathedral - fears that last year's events will repeat were extremely high.

The failure of this draft law in the Bundesrat once again makes people question the ability of Merkel's government to fulfill its promise to examine applications for refugee status faster, which was one of the key elements of Merkel's strategy for the long-term resolution of the migration crisis. On the other hand, this event worsens Chancellor's positions on the "Turkish front", where there's a difficult confrontation with Erdogan's government at the moment. After leading Turkish politicians (including President Erdogan) repeatedly сompared modern Germany to the Third Reich, it's getting harder for Angela Merkel to maintain her face in relationship with Turkish partners, while the German public begins criticize her for being "desperate" over the migrants deal.

The situation is also aggravated by the elections to the Bundestag in October, as well as growing popularity of Merkel's main rival, Martin Schulz, who is not burdened by the need to think about every word he says in order to not undermine country's foreign policy positions. The only positive thing that happened to the CDU in recent weeks is weakening of right-wing populists from the AfD, who were attracting part of the electorate of Christian democrats. However, it's hard to say how long will this trend continue. The latest high-profile crime, which happened yesterday at the train station in Dusseldorf, where a man severely injured several people with an ax, may give ultra-right wing additional votes. The criminal was born in Kosovo and had mental problems. Right-wing activists currently spread rumors on social networks that this attack was carried out not because of mental disorder, but because he was Muslim.