German Chancellor Angela Merkel faced increasing political backlash Friday from her own conservative allies over the influx of refugees into the country, the Wall Street Journal reported. Horst Seehofer, the chairman of the Christian Social Union party, a partner of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party, said he would take Germany’s government to court unless it limits the number of refugees crossing the nation’s borders.
“Limiting migration is indispensable,” Seehofer said. “We need a limit so integration can be successful.”
A representative of the German government declined to comment to the Journal about Seehofer’s remarks, while Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere attempted to reduce tension. “We don’t disagree that we need to bring down the number of migrants. What we disagree on is how,” he said. “Everyone can call the constitutional court.”
Merkel decided in early September to allow refugees to travel to Germany to claim asylum through an open-door policy. Germany now expects more than 1 million refugees fleeing conflicts in countries such as Syria, Iraq, Eritrea and Afghanistan to arrive this year. Thousands of refugees have been come to Germany daily, leaving many of its cities stretched to their maximum capacities as they try to find resources to support refugees.
The city of Hamburg has begun seizing abandoned buildings to house refugees as winter approaches. Meanwhile, administrators of schools in the country have been worried because there are not enough qualified teachers to start teaching students who do not speak German.
Merkel’s approval rating has fallen to 54 percent, a four-year low that has been attributed to the refugee crisis, Bloomberg News reported. In contrast, Seehofer’s approval rating has risen 11 points, to 39 percent. He has been critical of Merkel’s refugee policy for more than a month.
“Soon, we will be in a state of emergency that we can’t control,” the Europe edition of Politico quoted Seehofer as saying in September.
Merkel has continued to defend her stance on the refugee crisis. In a television interview Wednesday, she criticized the actions of other countries in the European Union that have been unwilling to accept refugees.
“You can’t close the border -- and we saw in Hungary what happens when you set up a fence,” she said.