Rembrandt Clancy has translated an essay and a video on the current political crisis in Germany, and includes an introduction providing context for the confrontation between Interior Minister Horst Seehofer and Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Germany Witnesses the Hara-Kiri of the CSU
by Rembrandt Clancy
For about the last week, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s political survival has been the source of much speculation. Egri Nök provided background for Gates of Vienna: among the issues, the most important for present purposes is whether Angela Merkel’s Interior Minister and coalition partner, Horst Seehofer (CSU), can successfully force a policy of turning ‘refugees’ away at the German border, including those who “have already applied for asylum in another safe European country” and are under a ban to enter Germany.
The translation included here is by Eugen Prinz of Politically Incorrect News. He explains what was actually agreed between Herr Seehofer and Frau Merkel, what the next step will be, what the “compromise” means for patriots and why Horst Seehofer’s final capitulation to Angela Merkel is the best of all possible results for Germany and why it is “one of the most serious mistakes” in the history of the Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU).
The CSU is the sister party to Chancellor Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and is native only to the state of Bavaria, with seats in both the Landtag (state parliament) and the Bundestag. The CDU covers the other 15 states. The CSU also forms an important part of the current Groko, or Grand Coalition.
In the recent past, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) has made common cause with Hungary’s Prime Minister Victor Orbán on protecting European borders. Were this issue to result in a break between Horst Seehofer and Angela Merkel, it would put an end to the Groko, and split the federal CDU/CSU caucus. The Bundestag was suspended on Friday in the heat of this controversy.
In terms of political pressures, Herr Seehofer and the Bavarian CSU are currently squeezed between Angela Merkel’s open borders policy and the anti-mass immigration Alternative für Deutschland party (AfD) in Bavaria, who, while they currently have no seats in the state parliament, enjoy popular support for their position on immigration.
Also, Herr Seehofer went into negotiations with Frau Merkel after having already been politically weakened. The CSU lost 10 seats in the Bundestag in the federal election of 2017 compared with the election of 2013 (cf. Federal Parliament, Bundestag). Because of this fall in the CSU’s popularity Seehofer agreed not to run in the 2018 state elections; and earlier this year Markus Söder was elected to replace Seehofer as Minister-President. That is when Seehofer moved into Merkel’s cabinet.
Corinna Miazga is a Bavarian AfD representative in the Bundestag. The following contribution includes an interview she gave to Jürgen Elsässer, editor of Compact Magazine, the day before Seehofer backed down. In it she predicts with considerable confidence what Horst Seehofer in fact did, and provides credible historical reasons for why his behaviour forms a predictable pattern. She also addresses other important questions, such as whether or not there are circumstances under which the AfD would cooperate in coalition with the CSU.
Flipflophofer Again Buckles to Merkel
Germany Witnesses the Hara-Kiri of the CSU
By Eugen Prince
PI-News: 18 June 2018
Translation by Rembrandt Clancy
And he did it! Once more, Flipflophofer [substitution of Drehhofer for Seehofer], has buckled to Merkel, although this time he had leaned so far out the window that everyone was certain there would be no turning back. But Flipflophofer remained true to himself, with all that that implies: With this “compromise” he no longer landed only as a doormat, but as a microbe, and his party likewise with him.
What does this “compromise” look like?
The CSU Chairman and Federal Minister of the Interior, Mr. Flipflophofer, Lord and Master of the Federal Police and national frontiers, agrees, with the unanimously approved backing of his party, that Merkel will have until the end of the month to attempt to work out a European solution to the dispute about the turning back of particularised refugees at the German border. In the event an agreement fails, however, there is to be “no automatism” [for turning back refugees], as it is said in CDU circles: “Decisions on further procedures will made in the light of what has been achieved [Merkel]”.
Now what happens next?
In practice this means that first and foremost everything stays as it is. Merkel will now endeavour to reach agreements with the relevant European countries (mainly Austria, Italy and Greece) on the turning-back of asylum seekers who are already registered there. Particularly in the case of Italy, one may wish her a jolly good time with it, given the new government there. One need not be a prophet to foretell that she will be banging her head against the wall. That is where the motto of [the former professional footballer], Franz Beckenbauer, applies: ‘The best-laid plans of mice and men; but things are as they are, watch, and then master the future” [south German idiom in dialect]
What does this outcome mean for patriots?
In its basics, this result has to fill every patriot with a sense of relief. Were the CSU to have remained firm, it would have effected no significant improvements in the conditions in our country. For based on experience thus far, only one in five asylum seekers seeking entry at the border has been registered in another EU country or has been subject to a travel ban to Germany. However, the psychological impact on the broad, uninformed and ill-informed population of such refusals of entry at the border would have been dramatic. They would have been perceived as the saviour of the West and would have been rewarded accordingly in the coming state elections in Bavaria. Were the CSU to have remained firm, they would have dealt the AfD a severe blow without having greatly changed anything in the catastrophic conditions in Germany. Incidentally, the Bavarian AfD member of the Bundestag, Corinna Miazga, had the right nose in this matter:
“Compromise” marks the beginning of the decline of the Christian Socialists
In the annals of the CSU, this “compromise” will go down as one of the most serious mistakes in the party’s history. The expectations of the voters have in recent days been driven to vertiginous heights, from which they have now plummeted precipitously into a bottomless abyss. The AfD can pop the champagne corks, for things remain as-is: anyone under a travel ban to Germany may nonetheless continue on their way into Germany; he need only stammer the A-word. In the discussion with the German Press Agency [Deutsche Presse-Agentur], the federal Chairman of the German Police Union, Rainer Wendt, characterised the current practice, whereby even immigrants with a ban on entry can come to Germany, as “play out of a madhouse”. “Whoever can say ‘asylum’ can enter”.
And in this madhouse, which will continue to remain one, we now stand reverentially aside and watch as the CSU, in the tradition of the Japanese Samurai, celebrate their very own hara-kiri. Banzai!
And for the future we shall remember the Minister Presidents of North Rhine-Westphalia, Hesse and Saarland, namely, Armin Laschet, Volker Bouffier and Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer as Merkel’s loyal vassals.
Commentator: Merkel before the fall? The CSU issues an asylum ultimatum.
Corinna Miazga: We will help to overthrow Merkel…
Wolfgang Schäuble: “… and with that I suspend the session.”
Commentator: It is with these words that it began on Friday in the Bundestag. And now, is Merkel about to fall? Horst Seehofer and Markus Söder are going all out. For the first time since 1976 the CSU has broken with the CDU in a joint caucus. Is it the end of the Groko, or is it only a show for the Bavarian election?
Jürgen Elsässer: Dramatic days in political Berlin, dramatic days in the Bundestag: in the course of the week, anything can be expected, even the overthrow of the Chancellor. And with me as a guest is the Bundestag representative, Corinna Miazga of the AfD, who, as the Bavarian member of the German parliament, is especially involved with all these events. And my question to Frau Miazga: will Horst Seehofer, on Monday the 18th of June, finally in his capacity as Interior Minister, finally close the borders again?
Corinna Miazga: The only thing that would be closed is an uneasy compromise. That is what I expect on Monday. I expect they will be unified again in some form. At the moment everything has been quite turbulent; we know that from the CSU. We are going to have a state election, and that is reason for the orchestration: to show the voters that it pays to vote for the CSU rather than the AfD. Those who have been following this know that this is the fourth ultimatum since 2005 when we first embarked upon this huge asylum crisis. Seehofer threatened, he roared like a lion and then ended up like a doormat, indeed at Merkel’s feet. And it will be exactly the same this time.
Jürgen Elsässer: If Seehofer follows through and actually secures the borders, Merkel will probably have to dismiss him as Minister of the Interior, which means the coalition will break up. Merkel will no longer have a majority to conduct previous government business. Will you, as AfD, then do your part to help Seehofer to overthrow Merkel?
Corinna Miazga: So what we are definitely going to do is we are going to help to overthrow Merkel whether the help to Herr Seehofer is direct or not. It doesn’t matter how it happens, Merkel must go. And also this is what we stand for. And if it comes to a corresponding no-confidence vote, then we will definitely answer to it in a very clear way: Merkel must go, and so says the AfD. For that we have no need of Herr Seehofer.
Jürgen Elsässer: Let’s assume the CSU will in fact no longer govern in union with the CDU, then would the CSU in Bavaria under Minister-President Söder be a possible coalition partner for you in the AfD?
Corinna Miazga: To hold out as a coalition partner for the CSU will be difficult. We know what they said a few weeks ago at the beginning of the election campaign: they said the AfD is the “brown filth” [Nazis] in Bavaria and there is no place for that there. One can always say: ‘well, we can look the other way simply for the benefit of Bavaria, for the benefit of the state’. The question is whether to govern with the CSU and perhaps in exchange relinquish one’s own standards, one’s own demands. Is that then of any benefit at all to Bavaria? As far as I am concerned, it is a very clear ‘no’, for it is quite consistent that the CSU cannot be split. To be consistent, they would also have to follow, as CSU-representatives, the course taken by the AfD in the Bundestag. I do not think that is possible. I say no collaboration with the CSU.