Merkel Accepts Migrant Deal Under Threat of Conservative Allies

Both sides hammered out "a good compromise. after a hard struggle", Merkel said, adding that it involved setting up holding and processing centres for asylum seekers near German borders.

The leader of Angela Merkel's Bavarian allies, the CSU, offered to step down from his ministerial role and party leadership during a fiery closed-door meeting on Sunday ( 1 July).

Mr Seehofer and Mrs Merkel have been at odds over Germany's approach to mass migration.

Seehofer has rejected Merkel's assessment that the EU-wide measures would "have the same effect" as his demand to turn away at the border asylum-seekers already registered in other European Union nations.

The deal still requires the consent of Merkel's other coalition partner, the centre-left Social Democrats, to become government policy.

After further talks with a smaller group of CSU officials seeking to change his mind, Seehofer said he had agreed to meet again with Merkel's party before he made his decision final.

At the same time, however, Bavaria's state elections in October are on the horizon and will come after Seehofer's party lost votes to a more hard-line party against immigration, the anti-Islam Alternative for Germany, in last year's federal elections.

Merkel had argued a plan to regulate immigration that European Union leaders approved Friday and bilateral agreements in principle that she hashed out with some European Union countries for them to take back migrants would accomplish what Seehofer seeks. Her Christian Democratic Party and its governing partner, the Christian Social Union, had separate meetings scheduled to discuss where they stand.


At the German-Austrian border, the deal proposes new screening to "prevent asylum seekers whose asylum procedures are the responsibility of other European Union countries from entering the country".

"We can achieve a lot in a government, but not outside", Soeder said. "I will not let myself be dismissed by a chancellor who is only chancellor because of me", he told the Munich-based daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

Addressing the meeting, Merkel acknowledged that the desire to settle the dispute was great and vowed to do everything possible to get an agreement, people at the gathering said.

Jens Spahn, an arch critic of Merkel's migrant policy, may be unpalatable to many in the CDU, especially after making some controversial comments on poverty and being photographed with the new, outspoken U.S. ambassador, a defender of U.S. President Donald Trump. "We want to order, control and limit migration to Germany".

If Seehofer were to go ahead with his policies, the dispute could end the decades-old conservative alliance between the CSU and the CDU. "I hope that the CSU will receive their just deserts for their actions".

If the row is not resolved, the CDU-CSU alliance may break up, robbing Merkel of her parliamentary majority. Party leader Andrea Nahles said "the CSU is on a risky ego trip that is paralyzing Germany and Europe".

Her CDU lawmakers are still behind her while the CSU has baffled voters and commentators by backing themselves into a tight corner.


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