Seehofer: Migration issue must be settled before EP elections

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Seehofer said a “European solution” must be found for the issue of migration before the EP elections.

“I would like to avoid migration becoming an EP election issue, as this would probably support forces we do not wish to (support),” Seehofer said in Berlin

He also said that during the summer discussions with coalition partner CDU and Chancellor Angela Merkel regarding the repatriation of migrants “the tone and style was not always ideal” and that in the future he will seek “calm cooperation” with Merkel. 

With regard to Sunday’s regional elections in Bavaria Seehofer said migration was not the central issue as the number of migrants leaving Bavaria was now almost equal to those arriving. “Once an issue is progressing in a satisfactory manner, it will will be relegated to the back in voters’ decisions,” he said.

Seehofer said that according to the decision of the CSU’s steering board (Seehofer is the president of the party), their first priority will be to form a government in Bavaria and delve into a deeper analysis of the election result afterwards.

At Sunday’s elections, Seehofer’s CSU came in first receiving 37.2 percent of the votes but lost ten percentage points compared with its previous position and no longer has a majority in the regional legislation. It means that it will have to find a coalition partner. The most likely candidate is Freie Wähler (Free Voters), an association of Bavarians not registered as a political party. Coalition talks are scheduled to begin on Wednesday.

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