Europe’s ‘axis of the willing’ to combat illegal migrants: Hardline interior ministers of Germany, Austria and Italy form alliance to protect borders – in defiance of Merkel

Wednesday, June 13, 2018
By Paul Martin

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced the alliance on Wednesday
The interior ministers of the three nations will work to tackle illegal immigration
Ministers announced the move in defiance of German Chancellor Angela Merkel

13 June 2018

The hardline interior ministers of Austria, Germany and Italy have formed an ‘axis of the willing’ to combat illegal immigration, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said Wednesday, escalating a Europe-wide row over the issue.

The announcement by Kurz in Berlin after talks with German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer marks a shot across the bow at Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is trying to pull together a deal for EU cooperation on placing asylum seekers.

Seehofer – who is locked in an open migration feud with Merkel that is threatening the stability of her coalition government – said that he and his far-right Austrian and Italian counterparts, Herbert Kickl and Matteo Salvini, formed their alliance this week.

Their cooperation would extend to ‘issues of security and terrorism’, he said, but did not offer specifics on what it would entail.

The news comes as Merkel called for tolerance amid a wave of support for anti-immigration parties across Europe, with the Chancellor saying the current political crop’s migration policy would act as a ‘litmus test’ for the future of the continent.

Kurz, whose country assumes the EU’s rotating presidency on July 1, said he welcomed the ‘good cooperation that we want to develop between Rome, Vienna and Berlin’.

‘I think it marks very sensible cooperation that will contribute to reducing illegal migration to Europe,’ Kurz told reporters at a convivial news conference with Seehofer, in marked contrast with the far more formal exchange he had with Merkel late Tuesday.

‘We believe an axis of the willing is needed to fight illegal migration.’

The use of the phrase raised eyebrows on social media for its echoes of the World War II alliance of fascist powers, as well as the deep divisions in Europe left by the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 backed by a ‘coalition of the willing’.

Merkel, widely seen as Europe’s most prominent proponent of a generous refugee policy, has firmly rejected a plan put forward by Seehofer to turn back at German borders any asylum seeker already registered in another EU country.

She argues that her country should not go it alone while Europe searches for a common policy.

Asked whether she supported the new ‘axis’ on migration, Merkel said only that she backed ‘a shared European answer to the questions of illegal migration but also forms of legal migration’.

The Rest…HERE

Leave a Reply

Join the revolution in 2018. Revolution Radio is 100% volunteer ran. Any contributions are greatly appreciated. God bless!

Follow us on Twitter