MERKEL’S PANIC: German leader calls for roll-out of anti-migrant pacts to save her skin

PANICKING Angela Merkel today called for a huge roll-out of migrant blocking deals in a desperate bid to save her skin with German voters.

Angela MerkelGETTY
Angela Merkel has proposed a raft of new EU deals to stop migration
The under-fire Chancellor said the European Union must strike deals with a raft of African countries to stop economic migrants from reaching the continent.Her plea comes following disastrous election results for her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, which has taken a hammering over its open door asylum policy.

Mrs Merkel has significantly changed her tune since being dealt two electoral beatings at the hands of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, and now says it is critical “to prevent a repeat of the situation seen last summer”.In a speech she hailed the EU’s deal with Turkey, under which all economic migrants are returned back across the Aegean Sea, as a perfect model to pursue with African countries like Egypt and Tunisia.

Migrants in GermanyGETTY

Germany has taken in more than a million migrants

Anti-migrant marchers in BerlinGETTY

Opposition to Mrs Merkel’s migration policies has been growing

She also called for Brussels to lavish far more development aid on impoverished countries to prevent people from wanting to leave them for Europe in the first place.The remarks are a far cry from her hubris last summer, when she flung open Europe’s doors to millions of migrants from Africa and the Middle East with her infamous ‘we can do it’ rallying cry.

Amid mounting criticism of her migration policies Mrs Merkel was initially defiant – deliberately repeating the controversial phrase – but under intense pressure she has recently ditched it.

More than a million migrants poured into Germany last year after the chancellor recklessly offered to house anyone who moved their from the Middle East.

But speaking today she said: “It’s important that we give the African countries perspectives for the future.”We either have to let people come to us, or we have to combat the root causes of migration so that people see prospects for staying there, close to their homes.”

The German leader gave no specific details about possible migrant deals between the EU and African countries, which unlike Turkey are not candidates for membership of the bloc.

The EU and Turkey agreed in March that Ankara would stem the flow of illegal migrants to Europe in exchange for financial aid and the promise of visa-free travel.

In June Mrs Merkel described Africa with its population of 1.2billion people as “the central problem” in the migration issue, and she has since raised the issue at the recent G20 summit in China.

Elsewhere today, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere met his Tunisian counterpart Hedi Mejdoub in Berlin to discuss security issues, organised crime and illegal migration.

The two ministers agreed to form a German-Tunisian working group to expand cooperation on security matters, and to work on a direct exchange of data, expertise and know-how, the German ministry said in a statement.They also signed an agreement about bilateral cooperation on security issues.

A statement from the ministry said: ”Both ministers agreed to intensify the cooperation between the two countries, especially with regards to accelerating the repatriation of Tunisian citizens who had illegally entered Germany.”

Mejdoub also met with the head of the interior committee in the German parliament, a key state official from the German state of Sachsen, and other groups.

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