Tonight's bombshell comes from Eurointelligence. Had it come from from a tabloid, I likely would not have believed it.
As I have commented before, I nearly always disagree with Eurointelligence goals. However, I have tremendous respect for their honesty and their reporting of the situation at hand.
From Eurointelligence, emphasis mine
We are learning that CDU MPs demanded Angela Merkel's resignation ahead of the last-minute agreement with Horst Seehofer. Bild reports that a group of 160 CDU and CSU MPs, those organised in the medium-sized enterprise lobby, had threaten to vote in favour of Seehofer's proposal, which is what prompted Merkel to cave in and accept a compromise she herself rejected earlier. Merkel was told that if it came to a vote that her position would not have the support by the majority of the Bundestag group. The message to her was: if you don't agree, we will force an agreement. Her position would have become untenable at that point.
As we know one of the reporters involved, we are confident of the accuracy of the report. Where we disagree was the assessment that Merkel got herself a good deal. She didn't. Her goal was to avoid a decision to the detriment of third countries. Judging by Austria's reaction yesterday, it is clear that she failed on this point.
The decision by CDU MPs to push Merkel to the brink on Monday shows as that the true power in German politics is no longer the executive branch, but parliament and that Merkel's hold over German politics is slipping. We don't want to predict when it ends. Donald Trump's threats might persuade the Germans not to change their leader at this time. But we are clearly in a situation where Merkel is no longer in full command. That's a step change from the previous 12 years.
The compromise that was agreed has already had its first ripple effects. Sebastian Kurz [Austria's Chancellor] reacted strongly to the German decision, on which he was not consulted. He said that Austria was now considering tightening border controls at the Brenner, the main gateway between Italy and Austria, and between northern and southern Europe. Kurz also promised that Austria would not agree a deal to the detriment of the country, thus effectively ruling out an agreement on secondary migration, as requested by the Germans.
Der Standard reports that the Austrian government will wait and see for the German government to implement the compromise before taking any concrete measures, but the Austrian government is already planning to fortify its southern border to Italy and Slovenia. The thinking in Austria is: the best way to defend oneself against Germany sending back refugees is to not let them in from the south.
It is interesting that Matteo Salvini, Italy's interior minister, sees Austria's threat to close the border as positive because it means that no refugees will come back that have already gone north. He said Italy can only win if the borders close. Salvini had previously called for the dismantling of Schengen. In any case, it is becoming clear to us that the German decision will have massive implications for the Schengen passport-free travel zone, which is about to became an outright instrument of racism, as people with a non-white skin colour will be subjected to regular checks.
We fully agree with a very strong editorial by Michael Volker in Der Standard who describes the EU as an axis of the bad-will, an axis of madness, chaos and hysteria. The origin of this madness lies in Germany, and is spreading fast throughout Europe. It is a based on lies, like the "fiction of non-immigration" - a legal term that allows Germany to pretend that refugees who have crossed the border do not legally exist if they are rounded up in camps. This agreement is going to be totally unworkable, Volker writes, and everybody knows this. The same goes for extra-territorial camps, agreed at last week's summit - another fiction. He concludes that the EU has turned into a caricature.
I thought it was Germany's president that pressured Seehofer and Merkel into an agreement to keep Merkel in power.
I missed that call.
I did not miss Merkel's hypocrisy.
If Merkel at all believed in supporting refugees, she would have resigned and issued a statement as to why.
Instead, just to stay in power, she accepted a deal that cannot possibly work.
The interesting aspect in this mess is SPD has to agree with this border compromise, exactly as I pointed out.
SPD Hypocrisy Coming Up
The hypocrisy spotlight now shifts to the SPD.
It will be amusing to see what logic SPD uses to agree to send migrants back to Austria and to refugee camps in Africa when no African nation is in support of the idea.
In late 2015, SPD leaders including now-Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, Ex-Foreign Minister and former Party Chairman Sigmar Gabriel and Secretary-General Lars Klingbeil took to social media to portray the zones as "gigantic prisons" and "mass camps in no man's land."
"The SPD has won the day," Gabriel wrote on Twitter back then. "Transit zones are off the table. No house arrest, no fences."
Early Wednesday morning, the SPD leadership will report on their meeting with conservatives to the Social Democrat parliamentary group. The left wing of the party, meanwhile, has already begun voicing its dissatisfaction with the deal.
"The SPD has clearly said no to closed camps," the influential head of the Social Democrats' youth wing, Kevin Kühnert, told German television. "It doesn't matter whether they're in North Africa, on the external border of Europe or in Passau."
As it is, the SPD is struggling to recover from an internal split over whether it should renew its coalition with Merkel's conservatives, an issue on which roughly a third of its members disagree with the party leadership. Other influential figures including Klingbeil have also said that the Social Democrats will not accept any "closed camps."
So here we are. SPD is in the same sinking boat with Merkel. Will SPD prove to be as hypocritical?
At this point is does not matter.
More Europe is dead.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock