Horst Seehofer (born July 4, 1949) is the current Minister of Interior of Germany. From 2008 to 2018 he was the minister president of Bavaria and from 2008 to 2019 he was the chairman of the Christian Social Union of Bavaria.
In January 2018 Seehofer has been attacked by left-wing politicians for hosting Viktor Orbán, Hungary's conservative-nationalist prime minister, at a party event. Some weeks before Orbán has sent a letter of congratulations to Horst Seehofer on his re-election as leader of the Christian Social Union of Bavaria.
Seehofer is known as a critic of Angela Merkel's refugee policies, though some conservative critics have described him as "a centre-right figure fundamentally unopposed to mass migration." He also has attacked the conservative Alternative for Germany party – which has the same views on migration that he claims to have – as "highly dangerous." In October 2010, Seehofer stated that "multiculturalism is dead" and that both CSU and CDU were committed to a "dominant German culture". He also said that if Germany did not revise its immigration policies, it was in danger of becoming "the world's welfare office". In an interview in early 2018, Seehofer said that Germany had been "shaped by Christianity", and that the country should not give up its own traditions. Furthermore, he stated that Islam "does not belong in Germany," though Merkel quickly responded by saying that "Islam belongs to Germany," along with Germany's president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Seehofer also criticized the European Union for being too condescending in its interactions with its Eastern European members on immigration issues. However, in September 2019, Seehofer stated that Germany might be willing to accept 25% of illegal migrants to land in Italy.
Despite serving in Merkel's government, Seehofer reportedly aligns more closely to Italy's Matteo Salvini on immigration issues. On June 18, 2018, Seehofer expressed that Germany should start to turn away at the border any migrants who had already registered in another EU member state. Merkel responded that such a decision might cause a "negative domino effects that would also harm Germany." Ultimately, they found a compromise which saw Merkel gain the upper hand. In September 2018, Seehofer stated that mass migration is "the mother of all political problems" in Germany.
- Lane, Oliver JJ (July 2, 2018). Merkel Germany Coalition Limps on as Immigration Control Compromise Struck. Breitbart News. Retrieved July 2, 2018.
- Mischke, Judith (September 14, 2018). German interior minister: AfD is ‘highly dangerous’. Politico. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
- Connolly, Kate (October 17, 2010). Angela Merkel declares death of German multiculturalism. The Guardian. Retrieved September 17, 2018.
- Multiple references:
- Huggler, Justin (March 16, 2018). German interior minister declares 'Islam does not belong' in the country. The Telegraph. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
- Shaw, Adam (March 17, 2018). German interior minister undercuts Merkel, says 'Islam does not belong to Germany'. Fox News. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
- Multiple references:
- Hale, Virginia (March 16, 2018). ‘Islam Belongs to Germany’, Merkel Insists After Minister Highlights Nation’s Christian Heritage. Breitbart News. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
- Merkel contradicts interior minister, saying ‘Islam belongs to Germany’. The Local. March 16, 2018. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
- Chazan, Guy (March 16, 2018). Merkel’s coalition divided over role of Islam in Germany. Financial Times. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
- Wróbel, Aleksandra (March 20, 2018). Islam is ‘part of Germany,’ says German president. Politico. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
- Plucinska, Joanna (March 18, 2018). EU ‘patronizes’ Eastern members on migration, says Seehofer. Politico. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
- Kammer, Jerry (September 24, 2019). Immigration Controversy in Germany. Center for Immigration Studies. Retrieved September 24, 2019.
- Deacon, Liam (June 12, 2018). German Interior Minister ‘Fully in Tune’ with Italy’s Salvini on Migration, Rows with Merkel. Breitbart News. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
- Multiple references:
- Escritt, Thomas; Chambers, Madeline (July 2, 2018). Merkel to fight another day after settling migration row. Reuters. Retrieved July 2, 2018.
- Byas, Steve (July 3, 2018). Immigration Compromise Saves Merkel Government in Germany — for Now. The New American. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
- Hale, Virginia (September 6, 2018). German Interior Minister ‘Would Have Joined’ Chemnitz Protests, Says Mass Migration ‘Mother of All Problems’. Breitbart News. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
- Kaddour, Abdelhamid (September 6, 2018). “Migration is the mother of all problems” says German Interior Minister. Voice of Europe. Retrieved September 8, 2018.