German interior minister offers to resign amid migration disputes with Merkel

German interior minister offers to resign amid migration disputes with Merkel

Chancellor Angela Merkel's government is in disarray due to a fight within her conservative bloc over migrant policy which risks toppling her coalition after her interior minister threatened to resign on Sunday. The challenge from the Christian Social Union (CSU), which has functioned as the Bavarian wing of Ms. Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) since the founding of the Federal Republic, was unprecedented in its ferocity.

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.

Mr Seehofer wanted to turn such migrants away immediately at the border, but Ms Merkel argued that would cause a crisis as other European Union states refused to take them.

The strongest voice in opposition to mass migration in the Bundestag is the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, who have 94 seats to the governing coalition's 246.

Seehofer said after talks with his party stretching into the small hours of yesterday morning that he would step down as minister and head of the Christian Social Union rather than acquiesce in the increasingly bitter standoff.

After facing push-back over her long-held open-door policies that have allowed hundreds of thousands of immigrants into her country, German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave in on Monday.

However, according to das Bild, Seehofer called the meeting on Saturday evening an "ineffective conversation".

But Kurz warned "other countries, like Austria, will react by national measures" if Berlin confirms it will turn away asylum seekers arriving at the German border if they were registered elsewhere.

After the Bavarians' relentless pressure on her, European leaders agreed new measures Friday to reduce immigration and so-called "secondary migration" of asylum-seekers between countries. His ultimatum forced Ms. Merkel to seek a European Union mini-summit the previous weekend and diverted the scheduled European Union summit this past weekend to an all-night crisis meeting on the migration issue.

A document she sent to the CSU and SPD also outlined deals with 16 other countries to return already-registered migrants if they reached Germany.

German politicians who criticized the agreement say Merkel and her conservatives had abandoned the country's moral mission.

A separate Forsa poll Monday showed that Seehofer had even failed to rally a majority of CSU voters behind him, with 49% backing Merkel in the dispute against 48% for the interior minister and party leader. "I have not studied it in detail but at first glance - and I have asked the legal services to look at it - it seems to me to be in line with the law", Juncker told a news conference in Strasbourg.

Austria is ready to impose new controls but is waiting to see if Germany goes ahead with the proposed new measures on its border, Herbert Kickl, the Austrian interior minister said. Austria's southernmost borders are with Slovenia and Italy.

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