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Trump wades into German migration row

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Donald Trump hold a joint news conference in the White House in Washington, 17 March 2017

US President Donald Trump has attacked the German government’s approach to immigration, as he comes under pressure over his own crackdown on migrants.

Mr Trump said German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition looked “tenuous”.

Mrs Merkel is in the middle of a serious domestic row after defending her country’s immigration policy.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump has adopted a highly criticised “zero-tolerance” approach, which has split families crossing the southern border.

The US president’s policy shift has been condemned by many, including former First Lady Laura Bush, who wrote about it in the Washington Post newspaper.

“[Trump’s] zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart,” she wrote, citing stories of children held in detention centres.

In a series of tweets, the president defended his stance. “We don’t want what is happening with immigration in Europe to happen with us!” he said.

Zero-tolerance: The US policy dividing families and opinion

Meanwhile, Mrs Merkel is in a different migration dispute with her interior minister, Horst Seehofer.

The chancellor has flatly refused to back Mr Seehofer’s plan to turn away migrants at the German border if they have already registered elsewhere in the EU.

The disagreement has opened up a serious rift between Mrs Merkel’s Christian Democrats and Mr Seehofer’s Bavarian CSU party – two parties that have been closely aligned since the end of the World War Two.

The backlash has left Mrs Merkel trying to hold her coalition together.

Other claims in Mr Trump’s tweets have already been debunked by various German news sites, especially his assertion that “crime in Germany is way up”.

They pointed out that Germany’s crime rate is at its lowest since 1992, according to Interior Ministry figures released last month.




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