07:38 GMT10 May 2021
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    Angela Merkel is dealing with crisis, with reports that she is to sack the head of domestic intelligence after the conflict over the last month’s anti-immigrant protests. Sputnik spoke to Professor of political science at the George-August University of Gottingen Peter Schulze, to find out if Merkel would manage to weather this storm.

    Sputnik: It’s been reported that Merkel may fire her domestic intelligence chief – do you think this would be the right course of action for her?

    Peter Schulze: If Merkel dismisses Maasen before the Bavarian elections then it will have a very deep effect on the electoral outcome and it will hurt of course the present minister of Bavaria Söder and it will hurt definitely Minister Seehofer as Minister of the Interior and head of the Christian Social Party in Bavaria. So it’s a risky game.

    Sputnik: There are to be emergency talks taking place tomorrow – Tuesday  — do you think it will be too late?

    Peter Schulze: It depends how strong Mr Seehofer our Interior Minister assesses the risk and the danger for the election campaign in Bavaria. I would assume that there would be no real decision made before the elections in Bavaria. If so, I think it is a win for the Green party and it will of course fire as well popular support for the AfD. So there may be some kind of pressure on Mr Maasen to voluntarily step down from office.

    Sputnik: Do you see the immigration crisis putting more pressure on Merkel in future? Will she weather the storm?

    Peter Schulze: She is weathering the storm, trying to sit it out and trying to stick to her initial decision of 2015 but the history and the political process has turned against her. So she is wounded by the consequences of the attacks on asylum seekers and migrants on each other and on German citizens. There’s a kind of hidden protest or even anger against migrants which is generally the case in the German population. I would not say that it’s hate or racism or neo-Nazi intentions or whatever, no. They are unhappy with the policy of letting them in in 2015 and the political circles are – the coalition government between the Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats haven’t done anything really. They have only reacted to the public outrage that they have to do something. And slowly they have introduced some barriers. In Bavaria Mr Seehofer and the CSU was leading the process against Merkel and against the sister party of the Christian Democrats. But the storm is not over.

    The views expressed in this article are those of the speaker, and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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