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EU’s political survival means ignominy of taking ‘Guantanamo’ option

11 22 80

The political threat lies at the heart of the European Union. If German Chancellor Angela Merkel – leader of the bloc’s strongest member – cannot find a solution to the immigration problem, then her coalition government is doomed. The collapse in Berlin will in turn reverberate across the EU, unleashing yet more tensions between the EU establishment in Brussels and the newer populist governments.

At a mini-summit in Brussels at the weekend – prefiguring a full summit later this week between EU leaders – Merkel was given notice that there would be no compromize between two diametrically opposed positions.

Italy’s new populist government has warned that it wants a radical overhaul in EU asylum rules whereby member states accede to a fairer distribution of refugees. However, that position is an anathema to Merkel’s coalition partners in the Christian Social Union.

The CSU interior minister Horst Seehofer has made clear that he wants to return all asylum seekers at the German border to the EU country where they first arrived. That inevitably means Italy which is a frontline state on the migration route from the Middle East and North Africa to Europe. The CSU has threatened to collapse the government in Berlin if Merkel does not find a solution.

Given the intransigent refusal by Italy to continue receiving migrant ships from the Mediterranean and Rome’s demand for greater EU burden-sharing that means Merkel is stuck between a rock and hard place. Her CSU coalition partner and other EU states, in particular the Visegrad Group of Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia, are adamant about not receiving immigrants. So, what gives?

This is where Merkel and the EU’s dilemma may embrace the plan to set up “processing centers” or “disembarkation zones” in countries........

© RT.com