A scheduled visit by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to the party conference of the conservative Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) on Friday highlighted policy differences between members of a potential “grand coalition” in Germany, notably with regard to refugees.
Speaking at the conference, Orban said that the arrival of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants in Europe has created a “democracy problem.”
He said that Europeans do not want to live under the “threat of terrorism,” adding that “they want the borders to be protected.” Photo: CSU party leader Horst Seehofer (left) with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (center) and Bavarian CSU faction leader Alexander Dobrindt at the CSU party conference in Kloster Seeon.
The populist leader added that he believes the year 2018 will be “the year of restoring the will of the people in Europe.”
His controversial trip to the Bavarian town of Seeon-Seebruck comes two days before Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), its sister party the CSU and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) are due to commence “exploratory talks” on forming a governing coalition.
Orban has been criticized by most member states of the European Union for his refusal to take in refugees under a quota scheme. The European Commission has also accused him of eroding democracy and the rule of law in Hungary through a number of controversial legislative moves.Hardline policy
The CSU has come into conflict with its potential coalition partners, particularly the SPD, over its own hardline refugee policy, which envisages a limit to the number of asylum seekers that Germany takes in.
The party also wants to see the current moratorium on family reunification extended. Presently, family members of asylum seekers whose application has been only conditionally granted are not allowed to follow them to Germany.
In addition, some CSU members envisage sending certain Syrian refugees back to “safe regions” in their conflict-ridden home country, an idea opposed as premature even by most other conservative politicians. At the CSU conference, which is to run until Saturday, the party is also to decide on a controversial demand to make asylum seekers undergo procedures to determine their age.
The demand came after a murder case in the town of Kandel in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, in which an refugee minor allegedly killed his 15-year-old ex-girlfriend.
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