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Most de­ci­si­ons about re­fu­gee po­li­cy we­re sup­por­ted by a ma­jo­ri­ty of MPs, Ger­ma­ny’s 16 fe­deral sta­tes and lo­cal com­mu­nities.

In 2015, a CDU par­ty con­gress de­ci­ded that a con­ti­nued in­flux of re­fu­gees would risk overw­hel­ming both sta­te and society.

The CSU is cal­ling for a dras­tic over­haul of Ger­ma­ny’s im­mi­gra­ti­on laws, in­clu­ding an up­per li­mit of 200,000 on the num­ber ac­cep­ted each ye­ar. The CSU is now tal­king about al­lo­wing im­mi­gra­ti­on on­ly for re­fu­gees from “Chris­ti­an oc­ci­den­tal” cul­tu­res. Does this com­ply with your ap­peal for tem­peran­ce among all Bun­des­tag par­ties? The CSU isn’t re­fer­ring he­re to re­fu­gees, but is ex­pres­sing its thoughts on a law, as they call it, to li­mit im­mi­gra­ti­on. Such laws al­ways re­spond to the in­te­rests of coun­tries re­cei­ving im­mi­grants, es­ta­blis­hing re­le­vant cri­te­ria. That’s fi­ne, and the pur­po­se of such laws in every coun­try. As a mem­ber of the Eu­ro­pean Uni­on, Ger­ma­ny could, for ex­amp­le, gi­ve pre­fe­rence to im­mi­grants from Eu­ro­pe. The­se is­su­es, howe­ver, dif­fer from the right to asyl­um or the Ge­ne­va Con­ven­ti­on on re­fu­gees

How long can you main­tain a re­fu­gee po­li­cy that is op­po­sed by a lar­ge part of your own par­ty and the CSU? We, the CDU, de­ci­ded our po­li­cies on re­fu­gees al­most un­ani­mous­ly at our par­ty con­gress at the end of 2015. We de­ci­ded that a con­ti­nued in­flux, as it was at that ti­me, would over­bur­den both sta­te and society, even in a coun­try li­ke Ger­ma­ny. The­re­fo­re, it is ne­cessa­ry to or­ga­ni­ze and di­rect the­se de­ve­lop­ments, si­gni­fi­cant­ly re­du­cing the num­ber of in­co­m­ing re­fu­gees. To­day, we see that we ha­ve ta­ken this path and are con­sis­tent­ly im­ple­men­ting CDU re­so­lu­ti­ons.

Your Ba­va­ri­an sis­ter par­ty is fun­da­men­tal­ly against vi­sa-free tra­vel to Ger­ma­ny from Tur­key. Does this threa­ten the re­fu­gee agree­ment with Tur­key? We are wor­king on im­ple­men­ting all ele­ments of the EU-Tur­key agree­ment. Tur­key has yet to ful­fill a few of the 72 cri­te­ria for vi­sa li­be­ra­liza­t­i­on, which must be do­ne be­fo­re we can ta­ke this step.

An­ge­la Mer­kel used to be a uni­fy­ing fi­gu­re, but her de­ci­si­on to wel­co­me re­fu­gees has di­vi­ded Ger­m­ans.

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