Merkel Challenged by Bavarian Call to Favor Christian Refugees

  • CSU coalition party maintains pressure for border restrictions
  • Bickering over refugee policy unabated as Merkel sticks it out

Bavaria’s ruling party urged Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government to give preference to Christian refugees, the latest salvo against her policy of declining to cap the number of asylum seekers allowed into Germany.

A draft resolution prepared for a meeting of the Christian Social Union’s leadership says countries need to make choices about whom they admit. “It’s not the migrants who get to make that decision,” according to the draft obtained by Bloomberg. “Going forward, the rule must be to give preference to migrants from western Christian culture.”

The CSU, which is part of Merkel’s coalition at the national level and has a joint parliamentary caucus with her Christian Democratic Union, is home to the most prominent critics of her open-border stance. Bavarian premier Horst Seehofer, the party’s head, has blamed Merkel’s refugee policy for the rise of the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany, which beat the CDU in a state election for the first time last Sunday. Merkel signaled she’s sticking to her course in a speech to parliament on Wednesday.

The CSU draft, prepared for a meeting on Sept. 9-10 at Schwarzenfeld, east of Nuremberg, renews the party’s proposals for Germany to set an annual legal limit of 200,000 asylum seekers and ban women from wearing face veils in public “wherever this is legally possible.”

“If you don’t want to do without a burqa or niqab, choose another country,” CSU party officials say in the document, referring to face coverings worn by some Muslim women.