German Interior Minister forms alliance with Austria and Italy against Merkel
Hardline ministers in Austria, Germany and Italy want to form an “axis of the willing” to combat illegal immigration. Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced Wednesday in Berlin after talks with German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer.
Angela Merkel is trying to put together a deal for EU cooperation on placing asylum seekers but is locked in a feud with Seehofer that is threatening the stability of her coalition government. He has said that he and his Austrian and Italian counterparts, Herbert Kicks and Matteo Salvini have formed an alliance this week.
Their cooperation will extend to “issues of security and terrorism”. Kurz’s country assumes the EU’s rotating presidency on July 1st and he welcomes “good cooperation that we want to develop between Rome, Vienna and Berlin”.
Kurz went on to say, ”I think it marks very sensible cooperation that will contribute to reducing illegal migration to Europe. We believe an axis of the willing is needed to fight illegal migration.”
Seehofer has gained support from Salvini, who on Monday outright refused to allow a rescue vessel carrying hundreds of migrants to dock.
Kurz said in Berlin Wednesday he was counting on his tough line’s backing during his EU presidency from countries such as the Netherlands and Denmark.
Countries who have refused or resisted taking refugees under the contested EU quota system are Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.