Tag Archives: coalition

Interior minister offers to resign, in blow to German coalition

Interior minister offers to resign, in blow to German coalitionBy Jörn Poltz and Thomas Escritt MUNICH/BERLIN (Reuters) – German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer offered his resignation to party colleagues late on Sunday, party officials said, escalating a row over migration with Chancellor Angela Merkel that threatens her fragile government. Seehofer said he was ready to step down as minister and as chair of his Christian Social Union (CSU) at a meeting where his party’s leadership was discussing whether to accept immigration proposals Merkel brought back from Brussels last week. The move makes the future of Merkel’s government even more uncertain, since her Christian Democrats party (CDU) relies on the Bavarian conservative CSU to maintain power through a coalition formed three months ago to end a political vacuum.



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Saudi-led coalition conducts air strikes on Yemen's Hodeidah airport

Saudi-led coalition conducts air strikes on Yemen's Hodeidah airportBy Mohammed Ghobari ADEN (Reuters) – Houthi forces fought to keep control of the airport in Yemen’s main port city of Hodeidah on Sunday as Saudi-led coalition air strikes struck the compound, in an offensive that could be a turning point in the three-year conflict. Losing Hodeidah would deal a serious blow to the Iran-aligned Houthis, cutting supply lines from the Red Sea to their stronghold in the capital Sanaa.



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Merkel seeks EU migrant talks as German coalition crisis looms: paper

Merkel seeks EU migrant talks as German coalition crisis looms: paperGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel, struggling to avert a crisis within her coalition on migrant policy, is trying to set up a meeting of some EU states to discuss the issue before a leaders summit on June 28-29, a German newspaper reported on Sunday. Citing government sources from representatives of several EU states, top-selling Bild reported on its website that Merkel wanted to discuss possible solutions with Greece, Italy and Austria. It is also unclear exactly when this special summit would take place,” a member of the Italian government told Bild.



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Angela Merkel facing battle to save her coalition as immigration row splits Europe 

Angela Merkel facing battle to save her coalition as immigration row splits Europe Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, is to hold last-ditch talks to save her coalition government this weekend amid a major European rift over migrant policy. The German chancellor is facing open rebellion from her interior minister, Horst Seehofer, over his plans to turn away migrants at the German border. Mrs Merkel has blocked the measure but Mr Seehofer is threatening to impose it unilaterally if he doesn’t win agreement by Monday – essentially daring the chancellor to sack him. As leader of her Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), Mr Seehofer could pull it out of Mrs Merkel’s coalition if he is fired, depriving her of a majority in parliament.  With both sides refusing to back down, German political commentators on Friday warned that the stand-off could potentially bring down the government, and even mean the end of Mrs Merkel’s term as chancellor.  On Friday, French president Emmanuel Macron came out in support of Mrs Merkel. "Countries are committed to the paths taken by their heads of state or government," the French president said, speaking at a press conference in Paris alongside Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.  Mr Macron also spoke out against the proposed hardline "axis" on migration formed this week by the interior ministers of Italy, Germany and Austria. France and Italy rowed this week over the fate of a ship carrying more than 600 migrants that was turned away from Italian ports Credit: Reuters “I don't trust these catchphrases which did not bring us luck in the course of history," he said. But the French president was at also pains to put on a united front with the leader of Italy's new populist government, after a week in which he had clashed over their hardline on immigration Mr Macron and Mr Conte called for the European Union to set up asylum processing centres in African nations which have seen an exodus towards Europe in recent years.  The Aquarius, the ship carrying more then 600 migrants that sparked the row between the two after Italy refused it permission to dock, is now on its way to the Spanish port of Valencia. In Germany, Wolfgang Schäuble, the speaker of parliament and Mrs Merkel’s former finance minister, is to mediate at talks this weekend in an attempt to find a compromise. “The end of Merkel’s chancellorship has never been so close,” Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper said in an editorial. Mrs Merkel’s 2015 decision to throw open Germany’s borders to migrants has suddenly and dramatically come back to haunt her.  At the heart of the dispute are Mr Seehofer’s plans to turn away migrants who have already registered in another European Union country at Germany’s borders. Under the EU’s Dublin rules, Germany can return migrants to the first EU member state they enter, but only after they apply for asylum in Germany, a time-consuming and expensive process. Mrs Merkel has so far blocked the proposals, arguing it could fatally undermine her efforts to agree a new EU-wide migrant policy at the next European summit in two weeks. German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has declared an "axis of the willing" with his hardline counterparts in Italy and Austria  Credit: Getty But her opponents say she is more concerned at being seen to close the borders now after keeping them open during the influx of 2015. Mr Seehofer says Germany needs a solution to the migrant issue now and cannot wait.  But his critics say he is more concerned with grandstanding ahead of Bavarian elections in October, and fending off a challenge from the nationalist Alternative for Germany party (AfD), which has campaigned on an anti-migrant platform. The issue is complicated by the German political system. Individual ministers have considerable autonomy in their own departments, which means Mrs Merkel can only block Mr Seehofer from introducing the plans by sacking him. That has left the two sides facing off in a dangerous game of brinkmanship in which both have plenty to lose.  In a development that could prove decisive, Mrs Merkel reportedly won the backing of her party’s MPs at a meeting behind closed doors on Thursday. Mrs Merkel has also won the backing of her main coalition partner, the Social Democrats (SPD), who have denounced Mr Seehofer’s plan. Carsten Schneider, the SPD chief whip, warned that the proposals to turn away migrants at the border could lead to the “end of the European Union”, while Anke Rehlinger, another SPD politician, said it would mean the return of heavily armed border troops and “the end of free Europe as we know it”. But the CSU has rallied as strongly behind Mr Seehofer. “We don’t want to risk losing credibility,” Markus Söder, the regional prime  minister of Bavaria and Mr Seehofer’s chief rival within the party said. And sources within the party told the German press on Friday they were ready to go with the “nuclear option” if Mrs Merkel doesn’t back down.



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Brief panic in Germany as satire site claims Merkel coalition demise

Brief panic in Germany as satire site claims Merkel coalition demiseGermany lurched into a brief panic Friday as several media outlets fell for a satirical tweet that claimed Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition had collapsed in a bitter row over immigration. The fake news that rebellious Interior Minister Horst Seehofer would end his Bavarian CSU party’s seven-decade partnership with Merkel’s CDU was described as a “bombshell” by the apparently verified Twitter account. Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert, receiving live updates during a press conference, was able to quickly shoot down the claim — but not before it had been cited as breaking news on the website of top-selling Bild tabloid and other media.



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Syria bomb kills 2 coalition troops from US and UK

Syria bomb kills 2 coalition troops from US and UKKOBANI, Syria (AP) — A roadside bomb in northern Syria killed two coalition personnel, an American and a Briton, and wounded five others in a rare attack since the U.S.-led coalition sent troops into the war-torn country, the U.S. and British militaries and a U.S. defense official said Friday.



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Coalition destroys Russian-made tank in Syria

Coalition destroys Russian-made tank in SyriaA US-led coalition drone has destroyed a Russian-designed tank in eastern Syria close to the scene of last week’s attack on pro-regime forces that left more than 100 Damascus loyalists dead, officials said Tuesday. The strike on the T-72 tank occurred Saturday near Al Tabiyeh, in Deir Ezzor province, the Pentagon said in a statement. “We detected and saw a tank that took a shot at us,” Lieutenant General Jeffrey Harrigian, who heads up Air Force operations for the region, told Pentagon reporters.



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US-led strikes kill up to 150 IS fighters in Syria: coalition

US-led strikes kill up to 150 IS fighters in Syria: coalitionThe US-led coalition has killed as many as 150 Islamic State fighters in an operation in the middle Euphrates River Valley in Syria, officials said Tuesday. “The precision strikes were a culmination of extensive intelligence preparation to confirm an ISIS headquarters and command and control center in an exclusively ISIS-occupied location in the contested middle Euphrates River Valley,” the statement read. While IS has lost most of the terrain they once controlled in Syria, they still remain entrenched in pockets along the middle Euphrates River Valley.



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US-led coalition to build 30,000-strong border force in Syria

US-led coalition to build 30,000-strong border force in SyriaThe US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group said on Sunday it was working to create a 30,000-strong border security force in northern Syria, drawing sharp condemnation from Turkey. With the offensive against IS winding down, the coalition and its allies in the Syrian Democratic Forces alliance were beginning to shift their focus to border security, coalition spokesman Colonel Ryan Dillon told AFP. “There is a goal of a final force of approximately 30,000,” about half of whom would be retrained SDF fighters, he said.



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Saudi-led coalition says Yemen rebels threat to ships in Red Sea

Saudi-led coalition says Yemen rebels threat to ships in Red SeaA Saudi-led coalition has warned Yemen’s rebels threaten ships in the Red Sea through their control of a key port, days after rebel warnings over a coalition blockade. “The port of Hodeida is a launching pad for terrorist operations threatening navigation in the Red Sea and the Bab al-Mandab Strait,” coalition spokesman Turki al-Maliki said late Wednesday. The Red Sea is a key shipping route for world trade that connects the Middle East to Europe via the Suez Canal.



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