Merkel settles migration row with Bavarian ally

Geraldine Edwards
July 4, 2018

"In this case, the CSU, Seehofer's party, would quit the coalition government", he continues.

Angela Merkel's coalition government was on the verge of toppling.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Interior Minister Horst Seehofer use their mobile phone during a budget debate at the lower house of parliament Bundestag in Berlin, Germany, July 3, 2018. "We now have a clear agreement on how to prevent illegal immigration across the Austrian-German border in the future", he added.

Infighting began after Seehofer pledged to send back asylum seekers at Germany's border if they're already registered in another European Union country.

Merkel and the Christian Democrats adamantly opposed that approach, arguing it was imperative to involve other European Union nations in devising an effective new migration policy.

He also believes that these elections "would revolve on the immigration issue" with no chance of victory for the Christian Democratic Union.

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In agreeing to form Merkel's coalition government earlier this year, the SPD expressly said it opposed migrant transit centers at the border, meaning it could possibly veto the deal.

Her own interior minister, Horst Seehofer, has threatened to resign.

After a meeting with Seehofer on Saturday evening, Merkel told the German broadcaster ZDF on Sunday that the two people's meeting had "pretty good results", and she hoped to further work with her political ally CSU.

Last weekend's marathon Brussels talks in search of a "European solution" and the meetings between Merkel and Seehofer that followed have cast considerable doubt over that trifecta.

The deal also requires support from the Social Democrats, the third party in Merkel's government.

In addition, Knaus said, the emphasis on transit centres would mean Bavaria bearing most of the administrative burden of registering and processing refugees and migrants who arrive in Germany.

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In an extremely fluid situation, Merkel and Seehofer are due to meet later in the day and before that, a joint session of the parliamentary groups of the CSU and CDU is due to take place, although there was some doubt if it would go ahead.

Both European and U.S. markets had mixed macro data outcome on Monday and it had little effect on the pair as investors were focused on German political proceedings.

Both sides hammered out "a truly good compromise ... after a tough struggle and hard days", Merkel said, describing the holding and processing centres.

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That decision convulsed European politics, fuelling the rise of anti-immigration parties, including the far-right Alternative for Germany party, which now threatens to unseat the CSU in October's regional elections.

Nevertheless, the anti-refugee, anti-Islam Alternative for Germany (AfD) was propelled into federal parliament for the first time a year ago by outrage over immigration, leading to months of paralysis while Merkel struggled to put together a workable coalition.

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