Merkel rebels vow last-ditch bid for migrant deal

Merkel rebels vow last-ditch bid for migrant deal

Merkel rebels vow last-ditch bid for migrant deal

Merkel hopes the deals with Germany's neighbours will deter Interior Minister and CSU leader Horst Seehofer from defying her by turning away at the border asylum seekers already registered in other European Union nations.

Last week he threatened to turn back asylum seekers at Germany's borders unless Merkel reached an acceptable deal with other European Union countries, a move that has raised questions about the chancellor's political future.

Bavaria's premier welcomed deals on migration brought back from Brussels by Angela Merkel, giving the clearest signal yet that his party was prepared to back down in a standoff with the German chancellor that has risked bringing down her government. CDU General Secretary Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said the party believed a European solution was necessary.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling coalition faced an uncertain future on Monday, as her hardline conservative Bavarian allies vowed a final attempt at a deal on migrant policy after she was unmoved by her interior minister's offer to resign.

Leaders and MPs from the Bavarian party will meet in Munich to decide their response, while Merkel and her top lieutenants will gather in Berlin.

If the CSU withdraws its support for Merkel's coalition, she would be left without a majority in the German parliament, possibly prompting fresh elections.

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The chancellor also said she had made concessions to Seehofer's demands.

A dispute over how to handle migration has plunged Merkel's three-month-old "grand coalition" into crisis and weakened the conservative leader, forcing Merkel to scramble to try to reach deals with individual European Union members.

The CSU, which faces a regional election in Bavaria in October, has recently sharpened its criticism of Merkel's open-door policy for refugees, and argued that Germany should not wait for other European Union member states, and move forward with unilateral measures to stop irregular migration.

Germany's dpa news agency, citing unidentified people present at the CSU meeting, reported that Seehofer told the forum he thinks the measures do not adequately accomplish what he is seeking.

After the inconclusive ballot, Merkel needed two tries and nearly six months, a postwar record, to stitch together her fourth-term government.

The CDU's leaders, who are now gathered in Berlin for a second straight day of discussions, said they still see room for a compromise solution in the migration dispute.

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In the interview, Merkel said she regretted any misunderstandings, but that she had been given "political commitments", and had not said any deals had been signed.

Ahead of a hard Bavarian state election in October, the CSU is determined to show it is tough on migration.

Political stability was upset by Merkel's 2015 decision to keep borders open to migrants and refugees arriving in Bavaria from the Middle East via the Balkans, Hungary and Austria.

Seehofer and Merkel are in a dispute over Germany's asylum policy.

Should Angela Merkel's government crumble, it could pave the way for a dissolution of parliament and new elections in Germany, which in turn could embolden the rise of far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD).

Weeks of "Merkel-bashing", however, have failed to help the CSU, as a Forsa poll last week showed around 68 percent of Bavarians backed Merkel's quest for a Europe-wide answer to migration rather than Germany going it alone.

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