Refugees should be refused entry at the German border if necessary, Christian Social Union (CSU) leader and Governor of Bavaria Horst Seehofer told radio channel Bayrischer Rundfunk.
According to Seehofer, there was a need foremost to eliminate the root causes of migration and flight, as well as controlling the European Union’s (EU) external borders and distributing refugees within the bloc.
“And if this approach does not work, we will need to do it at the internal border,” he added.
“One cannot say: we do not want this situation to repeat but then open the gates,” the German politician said with reference to the refugee crisis in 2015. Seehofer expressed his confidence that CDU leader and German chancellor Angela Merkel shared his views on the subject.
The CSU is the Bavarian sister party of the larger Christian Democratic Union (CDU). The two parties traditionally form a conservative electoral alliance but have quarrelled recently over CSU demands for a formal cap on the annual number of refugees admitted to Germany.
Seehofer has demanded a limit of 200,000 refugees per year admitted to Germany after the majority of over one million asylum seekers who arrived in 2015 entered through Bavaria.
Despite their disagreement, the two parties are still cooperating closely in their ongoing election campaigns and intend to form another joint government in the next German parliament.
“We have to prioritize now that we, the CDU and CSU, Angela Merkel and Horst Seehofer, together make a promise to the population that there will be no repeat of the year 2015,” Seehofer said.