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An 'upper limit' on refugees — by any other name

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09.10.2017

How do you feed a wolf without touching the sheep? Easy: With politics. After enduring a 10-point loss — near destruction by party standards — Bavaria's wolf, the Christian Social Union (CSU) chief Horst Seehofer, had his prey in sight: "upper limit." The term, heard uttered in hushed tones, refers to an annual cap on refugees seeking asylum in Germany, is now a done deal for the Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian sister party, the CSU. Ok, maybe they don't call it that anymore. But more on that later.

Read more: Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU discusses migration policies with Bavarian CSU

CSU doesn't want anyone further to the right

Political readjustment is standard procedure after an election. The CSU may have lost big time, but it is still in a position to make demands. Not only because the CDU's leader, Chancellor Angela Merkel, badly needs her Bavarian sister party's support to govern, but also because an old CSU expression is no longer valid: The only thing further right than the CSU should be the wall. Franz Josef Strauss, the party's iconic post-WWII politician, set this slogan in stone. But the election on September 24 saw the far-right populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) move the wall and plant itself to the political right of the CSU. Seehofer wants, and needs, to correct this.

Read more: Angela Merkel's Bavarian allies CSU threaten rightward shift

Politics can be pragmatic, when the involved politicians feel the noose tightening around their necks. The CDU and the CSU's agreement in Berlin to go beyond paying lip service to the controversial idea of a "refugee cap" and actually put it on the record is one such perfect example.

Refugees wait outside the German Federal Ministry for Migration in........

© Deutsche Welle