Eoin Treacy's view -
Merkel and other European Union leaders defied expectations to forge an accord early on Friday, putting the onus on Bavaria’s ruling CSU party that sought the clash. Its leaders must now decide at a meeting Sunday whether to risk a historic breakup of the party bloc that’s governed Germany for most of the time since World War II or beat a face-saving retreat.
With migration hard-liners Italy and Austria backing a coordinated European approach at the summit, the CSU appeared increasingly isolated before deciding whether to defy Merkel and start sending back asylum seekers at the German border who already registered in another EU country. Polls suggested public support for the Bavarians’ stance is waning.
“At this point, the CSU can’t afford to dig in against a compromise,” Juergen Falter, a political scientist at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, said by phone. “They’d come across as troublemakers.”
As investors welcomed the summit result, the CSU said the deal addressed concerns about migration it has raised for a long time. Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, the biggest party in her governing coalition, rallied behind the chancellor.
“Now these measures actually need to be implemented,” Alexander Dobrindt, the CSU caucus leader in the German parliament, said in a statement. The Bavarian party will review the summit deal “very thoroughly,” he said.
There is no more useful political manoeuvre than the “bait and switch”. It seems any politician who wants to stick around needs to master it and Italy’s populists are obviously quick studies. By focusing on immigration rather than tax cuts and spending, the new Italian administration threw focus onto Angela Merkel’s less than comfortable position on the topic of migrants and diverted attention from the looming wall of debt Italy needs to refinance.
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