Germany Sharply Disputes Trump Claim Crime Is 'Way Up'

Germany Sharply Disputes Trump Claim Crime Is 'Way Up'

Many in Brussels say that the window of opportunity is closing down and the June summit will be decisive.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's Bavarian allies were expected Monday to decide how far to push in a dispute with the German leader over migration, a conflict that has escalated into a threat to her government.

At the centre of the tensions there is Mrs Merkel's widely criticised immigration programme, which brought more than a million refugees in the country in 2015.

Macron also said Paris and Berlin wanted agreements that would allow European Union member states to reject at their borders asylum seekers already registered elsewhere in the bloc - usually the first port of entry. If Mr. Seehofer maintains his stance, it would set in motion a chain of events that would topple her from power. The EU has given aid and money to Turkey, Jordan, Libya, Niger and other countries.

President Trump first made his claim that the crime rate in Germany is "way up" in Germany in a tweet on Monday and also asserted that migrants have "strongly and violently changed their culture" in Europe.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been been given a two-week deadline by her ultra-conservative coalition partner on Monday to adopt stricter migration and asylum rules in agreement with other European Union member states.

Meanwhile, in advance of the European Council meeting, Merkel met with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on June 18 and French President Emmanuel Macron on June 19 to discuss reforming EU migration rules.

"Member states should take all necessary internal counter such movements", the text said in an indirect response to German interior minister Horst Seehofer.

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Amid a flurry of national and worldwide criticism for separating children from parents who cross the U.S. -Mexico border illegally, Trump on Monday sought to justify the harsh methods by pointing to problems with migration in Europe. EU officials said that the summit will need to re-energise the European Union and call on EU leaders to overcome divisions and implement reforms.

Merkel and Macron jointly stressed the need for an EU-wide solution to the migration crisis that is now casting a shadow over cooperation between European neighbors, according to German news agency dpa.

Although that flow has slowed to a trickle, the migrants' impact on German society is a matter of constant debate, including by President Donald Trump, who tweeted inaccurately about it earlier today.

The CSU is more conservative than Merkel's CDU and its paramount aim is to maintain its dominance in Bavaria.

Also leader of the ultra-conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) - the Bavarian sister-party to Chancellor Angela Merkel - Seehofer's party is promoting the stricter asylum laws. The European asylum authority Easo announced Monday in Brussels that a total of 222,560 applications was registered past year with nearly a third of them (31 percent) in Germany.

Another poll released Friday found that 66 percent of respondents are in favor of a European solution to the refugee issue, promoted by Chancellor Merkel.

"We do not believe that a European solution will be reached within two weeks - it has already failed to materialize for three years (since the height of the 2015 refugee crisis, note)", Soeder told dpa.

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