Germany's Merkel is 'realistic' about North Atlantic Treaty Organisation spending target

WIRTSCHAFT Mercedes Benz

WIRTSCHAFT Mercedes Benz

Germany will increase its defense spending but would not be able to meet NATO's 2 percent goal by 2025, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday.

The proposed "axis" would put Merkel's Germany - which has taken in more than 1.6 million migrants since 2014 - with the new Italian government and its interior minister, Matteo Salvini, head of the far-right League party, who made the decision to turn away the Aquarius.

Merkel's Christian Democrats and their Bavarian CSU allies are embroiled in a dispute over CSU Interior Minister Horst Seehofer's "Masterplan for Migration", which would allow authorities to reject migrants who reach German borders if they have already registered in other European Union states to the south.

Merkel opposed the measure, Mr. Seehofer, in a rare revolt by a minister against the head of the German government, on Tuesday canceled the planned presentation of his plan, declaring the measure integral to any attempt at bringing illegal immigration under control.

In this Wednesday, June 13, 2018 photo, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, talks to Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, left, prior to the weekly cabinet meeting at the chancellery in Berlin.

The government has expressed it wants to remain part of the database, along with the EAW and European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS), which enables information about criminal convictions to be exchanged and is unavailable for countries outside the EU.

WaPo: Stone Met During Campaign With Russian National Offering Clinton Dirt
The report is the latest example of Trump campaign allies having contact with Russians and being less than forthcoming about them. Caputo told The Post that Robert Mueller is now investigating the meeting and its ties to the special counsel's collusion case.

While the issue is about immigration on the surface, it is at its core a fight for supremacy between the two conservative parties. Other European Union members, including France and the United Kingdom, have hardened their immigration laws. Merkel has warned that such a move could shift the burden onto countries such as Italy and Greece that have struggled to cope with the influx of migrants coming across the Mediterranean. Migrants have to apply for asylum in the first country they set foot in. Germany now allows such migrants into the country as their cases are reviewed.

Merkel insisted Wednesday that she wants a "solution for all of Europe" rather than one that works only for some countries.

Recent events in Germany - including revelations that some 1,200 people may have been improperly granted asylum, and the murder of a 14-year-old girl blamed on an Iraqi refugee - have only fueled public demands for swift reform to asylum policy.

Seehofer's Christian Social Union and Merkel's CDU campaign together in national elections and have a joint parliamentary group.

And yet, there are vultures circling in the CDU: Jens Spahn, health minister and Merkel's most vocal internal critic, kept his distance at the Bundestag meeting, and was the only member of the party executive committee to vote against Merkel's own compromise suggestion.

The CSU's Bavarian state premier Markus Soeder said that the ongoing "asylum tourism" meant that, as a government, "we're nearing the endgame when it comes to our credibility".

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