From the NYT:
Back at It Again: German Leaders Try to Form a Government
By MELISSA EDDY JAN. 6, 2018
BERLIN — Six days of meetings, three parties and a news blackout: If all goes well in meetings that start this weekend, that’s the combination that could give Germany a new government by March.
That’s the best-case situation, as leaders of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats, their Bavaria-only sister party, the Christian Social Union, and their previous partners, the Social Democrats, sit down on Sunday for a new round of talks intended to hammer out the basis of a new government. …
Immigration and Refugees
The huge influx of migrants has emerged as a polarizing issue in Germany and contributed to the drop of 14 percentage points in support overall for the negotiating parties. Many of those voters switched to the far-right Alternative for Germany, which campaigned on an anti-immigrant platform.
Immigration remains one of the biggest sticking points in the talks. Conservatives and Social Democrats are split over the number of people who should be allowed to enter the country and to apply for protection on humanitarian grounds. Ms. Merkel and the Bavarians are holding to a limit of 200,000 applications, but the Social Democrats are opposed to any restrictions.
The Social Democrats support legislation that would allow Germany to admit qualified immigrants to fill thousands of openings in companies and factories. The official in charge of Germany’s national labor agency has said the country will need 300,000 qualified immigrants annually to fill the gaps, because record employment has made it difficult to find enough workers.
After all, “Social Democracy” has always stood for Open Borders and Lower Wages. Social Democrats have always stood in solidarity, arm-in-arm, with Global Capital. How can the capitalist class upgrade their private jets if they have to pay German workers more money?