It is not the first time de Maziere has clashed with the Chancellor — who is believed to be backtracking on setting a cap on the number of refugees her country will have to take in. He caused controversy when he announced to lawmakers that the Dublin Rules — which state that all refugees must be processed at the point of entry into Europe — will be reinstated.
On refugees Merkel still looking for burden sharing. 'Not acceptable for some countries to say this is not their problem.' #Merkel— Gavin Hewitt (@BBCGavinHewitt) November 24, 2015
He said that Syrian refugees will be sent back to the country of entry.
Now, de Maiziere has told Austrian newspaper Der Standard that all of Europe should set a cap on the total number of refugees it will take in. "When the quota is filled, there are no further entries in the year," he said in the interview when asked how his proposal would work.
Open and Shut Case
Merkel has been under pressure at home and abroad ever since she said her country's doors were open to Syrian refugees fleeing the war-torn nation. Her announcement precipitated the largest mass movement of people since the Second World War, plunging Europe into crisis.
The tide of refugees led to some countries closing their borders, others erecting razor wire fences and a huge row over whether countries would be forced to take in a set quota of refugees. The crisis has called into question a central pillar of the European Union — the freedom of movement of people — as well as the Schengen borderless agreement and the Dublin rules, which say migrants must be processed at the point of entry.
De Maziere's comments will pile further pressure on Merkel, who has constantly refused to put a cap on the number within Germany, saying that — constitutionally — the country's basic right to asylum has no upper limit.
Merkel is now backtracking on her 'open doors' policy and is considering how to perform a U-turn on the refugee limit as well.