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    German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere

    German Minister Calls for Refugee Limit as Open Doors Policy Falls Apart

    © AP Photo / Markus Schreiber
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    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1818)

    German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere - and cabinet colleague of Chancellor Angela Merkel - has said Europe should set a limit on the number of refugees it takes in a year, completely reversing a policy that Merkel has been pursuing.

    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.

    He said that Syrian refugees will be sent back to the country of entry. 

    His briefing to lawmakers was made without previous consultation with coalition partners the SPD Party ad Merkel's own CDU.

    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.

    Police stand next to asylum seekers waiting in front of the reception center for refugees in Berlin, Germany, Friday, Aug. 7, 2015.
    © AP Photo / Gero Breloer
    Police stand next to asylum seekers waiting in front of the reception center for refugees in Berlin, Germany, Friday, Aug. 7, 2015.

    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.

    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1818)


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    open border, free movement, migrant quota, refugee crisis, Schengen area, borders, confrontation, asylum seekers, coalition, chaos, limits, refugees, Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU), SPD, European Union, Thomas De Mazier, Angela Merkel, Germany, Europe
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