Angela Merkel faces party row over calls to scrap dual citizenship for children of immigrants
2016/12/09 Leave a comment
Tough balancing act in overall European political context:
Angela Merkel was plunged into a new row over immigration on Wednesday when delegates at her party conference voted to end dual citizenship for the children of immigrants.
The German chancellor quickly disowned the decision by her Christian Democratic Union party (CDU), as her coalition partners said they would block it from becoming government policy.
The dispute, a day after Mrs Merkel was re-elected party leader and given an 11-minute standing ovation, threatened to mar the start of her campaign to win a historic fourth term as chancellor.
“There will be no change in the law in this parliament,” she said after the vote, in a clear rebuke to delegates. “I do not believe we should campaign on dual citizenship in the elections as we did in the past.”
In her speech to the conference on Tuesday, Mrs Merkel made a clear play for the party base who had been alienated by her “open-door” refugee policy, vowing never to repeat it and calling for a burka ban.
But the row over dual citizenship was a sign she may struggle to contain the demand for an anti-immigrant line on the party’s emboldened Right wing.
Dual citizenship is an incendiary issue in Germany, where it was not allowed until recent years, and even now is only available to citizens of other EU countries and the children of immigrants.
By a narrow majority of just over 51 per cent, CDU delegates voted to scrap laws introduced in 2014 under which the children of immigrants born in Germany are allowed to retain dual citizens as adults.