Germans Couldn’t Decide on Transit Zones

Germans Couldn’t Decide on Transit ZonesGermans Couldn’t Decide on Transit Zones

Crisis talks on refugee inflows between Chancellor Angela Merkel and two top coalition partners have ended. The decision on the controversial transit zones has been postponed.

Sunday’s Berlin talks culminated a week in which German voters heard heated rhetoric from the three parties—the CDU, the CSU and the SPD—that comprise Merkel’s 2-year-old coalition, Deutsche Welle reported.

After two hours, the German Press Office said no consensus had been reached, despite what it termed a “multitude of textually substantive commonalities”. The leaders would hold further talks next Thursday, it said.

One of Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy  Sigmar Gabriel’s deputies, Thorsten Schafer-Gumbel, told the “Welt am Sonntag” newspaper ahead of Sunday’s talks that the Social Democrats “strictly rejected” transit camps along Germany’s border with Austria as demanded by CSU leader Horst Seehofer.

“These would amount to “internment zones,” said Schäfer-Gümbel.

On Saturday when each party held internal consultations , Gabriel instead said “many registration and arrival centers” were needed inside Germany to handle vetting of individual asylum applications.

Seehofer had declared on Sunday as a deadline for Merkel to drop her open border policy and institute rapid yes-no asylum border checks, otherwise his CSU would resort to “emergency measures.”

Border practices are the prerogative of Germany’s federal government, not its 16 regional states, cautioned German constitutional experts.

Opposition Greens co-leader Simone Peter accused Merkel’s conservatives and the SPD of resorting to pure antics.

“Instead of repeatedly propagating symbolic politics, the coalition must agree on a coherent system for registration and processing of asylum applications,” she said.

Peter said acute personnel shortages and incompatible registration systems had led to unnecessary double work and extended waiting times.