Merkel seeks European Union migrant talks as German coalition crisis looms - paper

Elias Hubbard
June 17, 2018

Mr Seehofer was opposed to the decision from the start, and repeatedly implored Mrs Merkel to close the borders.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is seeking talks with some European Union member states on migrant policy before a leaders summit at the end of the month, a government spokesman said, in a last-ditch bid to avert a coalition crisis erupting this week.

She is engaged in a standoff with her interior minister, Horst Seehofer, over his plans to introduce stricter asylum laws, which would include turning people away at Germany's borders.

The German chancellor is looking forward to finding solutions to the current crisis with European Union member states, including Greece, Italy and Austria, Bild reported, citing government sources from several European Union countries.

The joint cabinet meeting with France offers Merkel a chance to air proposals for revamping regional asylum policy ahead of a European Council meeting June 28-29.

Negotiations between the CDU and CSU are expected to be mediated by Wolfgang Schaueble, a former finance minister and current parliamentary president who is respected on both sides, Fox News reported.

Kai Whittaker, a member of Ms Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, said infighting could weaken the ruling coalition and make her position untenable.

The BAMF has been at the heart of a scandal around the right of asylum for several weeks, with one of its branches in Bremen, northern Germany, under investigation for allegedly favouring more than 1,200 asylum applications. About a fifth of the refugees in Germany this year were registered in other European Union states and would have been turned away were rules in force sought by the CSU, the paper said.

"The people are running out of patience", he told Bild daily.

Merkel seeks European Union migrant talks as German coalition crisis looms - paper
Merkel seeks European Union migrant talks as German coalition crisis looms - paper

It's not yet clear whether Spain - which has seen a sharp rise in migrant arrivals in the past two years - and the Balkan countries would attend the special summit, Bild said.

One of the main considerations for the CSU in the near-term is the looming Bavarian elections scheduled for October of this year.

"This is a European challenge that also needs a European solution", she said Saturday.

Supporters of German AfD wave flags in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, May 27, 2018.

Seehofer will on that day seek CSU party backing to use his ministerial authority to order border police to turn back the asylum seekers, in open defiance of Merkel. Merkel has asked the CSU to be patient, a request that the Bavarians have ignored.

If Seehofer implements the measure, it could force Merkel to fire him, spelling the end of the decades-long alliance between her Christian Democrats and her Bavarian sister party.

Macron offered his backing to Merkel, telling reporters: "Countries are committed to the paths taken by their heads of state or government".

The fake news was quickly debunked as originating from satirical magazine Titanic, but not before it had been picked up by some major media, causing immediate dips in the euro and stock market.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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