Austria and Bavaria Speak With One Voice on “Asylum” Policy

Yesterday Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz met with Bavarian Minister-President Markus Söder (the successor to Horst Seehofer, who is now Interior Minister) to discuss migration issues. The video below is a brief account of their meeting, with excerpts from the press conference.

It’s a reminder that Bavaria is a quasi-sovereign entity in some respects. It can conduct its own foreign policy to a limited extent, without having to clear it in advance with Berlin.

Many thanks to Ava Lon for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

Video transcript:

00:00   The Austrian federal government and the Bavarian state government have emphasized, in the context
00:05   of a meeting of both cabinets, their common line on refugee policy.
00:10   Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz exerted pressure in Linz
00:15   on the German government, in view of conflict in Berlin concerning asylum.
00:20   “I hope very much that our German neighbors manage to establish a common
00:25   line for the Federal Government, hopefully also a common line in the right direction
00:30   for the protection of borders, for the fight against illegal immigration.”
00:35   Bavarian Minister-President Markus Söder underlined that in Bavaria and Austria
00:41   there is a common interest in implementing a shift in European asylum policies.
00:46   “I believe that Austria plays key role in the future of Europe, and we support it,
00:51   not only as friends, but because we are deeply convinced about it. I consider the idea
00:56   of the Protection Zones in Africa as those key tasks that we can undertake, and when we
01:01   in Europe offer a lot of money for all possible things, then this one would really make sense.”
01:06   On July first Austria takes over the Presidency of the EU Council,
01:11   and it wants to set the tone in refugee and asylum policies EU-wide,
01:16   under the motto “Europe that protects”.

5 thoughts on “Austria and Bavaria Speak With One Voice on “Asylum” Policy

  1. A „ Europe that Protects“

    Is that why all the shops that sell pepper spray in Austria and Germany have seen their sales go through the roof?

    Only now that the numbers of invaders and incidences of crime are encroaching on the rich neighborhoods as well, are these politicians starting to worry.

  2. Do.Not.Trust.Söder nor Seehofer.
    Anything they say or do at this stage ought to be regarded in relation to the upcoming Bavarian elections . Their party , the CSU , seems to be spooked out of its wits by the prospect of substantial gains by the AFD . Right now it’s all about keeping the lid on the AFD in Bavaria . Quarrels with Mutti ? Cute . Once the theatre-smoke has cleared , Seehofer will still be Merkel’s lapdog ; his leash may be a few inches longer though . He may have agreed with Chancellor Kurz in some statements , the immigration-policies will appear to be a little more strict and then it is back to politics ( Merkel’s politics that is ) as usual . What else is new…

    • I agree. Remember, Merkel herself has said things that appeared to indicate that she understood the problem: for example, she acknowleged that multiculturalism hasn’t worked. That sound promising when she said it, didn’t it? And what happened? She proceeded on her way doing what she was doing before.

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