Merkel suffers from unresolved center-right parties dispute

DAILY SABAH WITH WIRES
Istanbul
Published 30.08.2016 01:14

Amid ongoing tension between center-right parties, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has decided to delay her announcement as to whether she seeks another term as German chancellor, the German news magazine Der Spiegel International reported. According to reports, Merkel will not announce her decision until early 2017 due to the unresolved conflict between the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU). With the factional dispute between the two center-right parties on the rise, the head of the Bavarian party Horst Seehofer has considered nominating their own candidate for the upcoming Germen federal election. The CSU will later decide whether or not they will continue supporting Merkel's candidacy. However, there is a growing concern that Merkel's candidacy without the Bavarian party's support would damage her politically.

This is not the first time Angela Merkel has postponed her announcement. In July, during a press conference, Merkel said she will unveil her decision "at the appropriate time."

The center-right dispute has not yet been resolved due to the growing refugee crisis and increasing violent crimes in Germany. According to the German Interior Ministry report released in May 2016, the number of hate crimes with right-wing political motives in Germany has risen more than 40 percent due to the large influx of migrants in the country. A series of July terrorist attacks across Europe and Germany, combined with pressure to quickly process asylum claims, also opened Merkel up to fresh criticisms over her handling of the refugee crisis. Merkel's approval ratings have continued to slide as a result and tensions are forming in the political coalition led by her conservative CDU. Merkel's deputy, Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, joined Horst Seehofer, the chief of the CDU's Bavarian-based Christian Social Union allies, in calling for a limit on the number of new arrivals, saying the chancellor had underestimated the scale of the integration effort.

Merkel has stepped up moves to tighten security and toughen up asylum laws in a bid to allay public fears about a terrorist threat and to head off the critics of her handling of the refugee crisis.

On the integration front, there may be scope for boosting employment among refugees: Last month there were about 322,000 refugees registered as seeking work in Germany, while the country has 673,889 job vacancies and 172,224 training positions available. Already, more than 30,000 refugees have secured jobs in a variety of sectors including food service, construction and even aid organizations in Germany. Despite these accomplishments, it may be difficult for refugees to find good jobs in Germany, according to Commerzbank economist Joerg Kraemer. "We have already seen indications in recent months that the employment opportunities for refugees from non-European countries are limited," he said. "In addition to the lack of language skills, a fairly high proportion of refugees have not attained a basic level of schooling," he explained.

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