German govt stands but no resolution in fight over migration

German govt stands but no resolution in fight over migration

German Chancellor Angela Merkel faced a tense showdown yesterday (14 June) within her divided conservative camp over the flashpoint issue of immigration that could threaten her political future.

Merkel's own position as chancellor appeared to be threatened after her hardline interior minister and conservative ally, Horst Seehofer, called for Germany to start refusing some refugees at the German border.

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.

After meeting at Chancellor Angela Merkel's Meseberg retreat outside Berlin, she and France's Emmanuel Macron presented the new budget as a means of boosting the bloc's economic competitiveness.

Her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its sister party CSU have suffered heavy losses in the country's federal elections previous year, while the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) scored record gains and entered the parliament for the first time.

According to Reuter, the spokesman denied a report in Bild newspaper that Merkel was trying to arrange a special summit on migrant policy, saying such a meeting would be a matter for European Union institutions.

If no agreements are reached, the idea is for Germany then to begin turning back migrants. But he said the aim should be a "consensual solution" and wrote that it was "of decisive significance that the European Union summit at the end of June finally makes decisions that recognize Germany's burdens in migrant policy".

"So much progress has been made, we can't let all slip away now".

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If Seehofer, backed by his CSU, were to defy her by enforcing the plan on Monday, Merkel would be nearly certainly forced to fire him.

A CSU leadership meeting Monday in Munich is likely to authorize Seehofer to go ahead with his plan - but it's unclear at what point.

Paris no longer harbours any illusion of securing a revamp of the so-called Dublin rules before the end-of-June deadline set by European Union leaders last December.

NELSON: She said it's vital to know what will happen to any migrants barred from entering Germany so they don't end up back here.

On Monday, reports emerged that Seehofer has agreed to give Merkel two weeks to come up with a solution, but the situation is still highly concerning for investors already anxious about politics in the European region.

Several high profile crimes by migrants - including the 2016 Christmas market attack by a failed Tunisian asylum seeker as well as the recent rape-murder of a teenage girl allegedly by an Iraqi - have also helped to fuel anger.

At the centre of the tensions there is Mrs Merkel's widely criticised immigration programme, which brought more than a million refugees in the country in 2015.

"The Italian borders are European borders", he said. She said her party will consider the results on July 1 "and decide how to proceed in light of what has been achieved".

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