Germany's Merkel seeks European solution to migrant dispute

GETTY•BUNDESTAGAngela Merkel could be replace as German Chancellor as soon as next week claims Kai Whittaker

GETTY•BUNDESTAGAngela Merkel could be replace as German Chancellor as soon as next week claims Kai Whittaker

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, who also leads the CSU, may be tempted to use his powers to implement his party's call for more powers to turn away refugees registered in other European Union states.

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

Seehofer's CSU party is due to meet Monday to decide which course to take.

French President Emmanuel Macron heads to Germany on Tuesday seeking progress with Chancellor Angela Merkel on elusive eurozone reforms, but the deepening European Union rifts over migration threaten to dominate an already daunting agenda.

Conte's own anti-establishment government had a separate dispute with French President Emmanuel Macron earlier in the week after Italy's anti-immigration interior minister, Matteo Salvini, refused to allow a ship carrying more than 600 migrants and operated by a charity organization to dock at an Italian port. Merkel has asked the CSU to be patient, a request that the Bavarians have ignored.

Merkel has faced opposition at home for a decision in 2015 to open Germany's borders to hundreds of thousands of migrants, mostly Middle Eastern asylum seekers who crossed by sea from Turkey to Greece and overland through the Balkans.

Mr Schmieding said: "She will need a bit of a compromise here and there".

Merkel opposed the move, arguing that Germany should work with other European Union countries to find a common solution to the problem.

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However, "the European project is at risk", and "we have a particular responsibility", she said.

A European solution "doesn't convince me", said Bavaria's Prime Minister Markus Soeder in a June 14 Bild Zeitung interview.

A populist-far right government in place in Italy, as well as the conservative-far right in power in neighbouring Austria, have also taken an uncompromising stance on immigration. The two parties govern with the center-left Social Democrats.

The spat over immigration has laid bare the deep tensions in a fractious German government that took office only in March, after almost six months of postelection haggling, and exposed the limits of Merkel's authority.

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.

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.

Seehofer has been calling for Germany to turn back at its border migrants previously registered as asylum-seekers in other European countries.

Seehofer's party met in Munich to affirm its backing for his so-called migration masterplan comprising 63 measures, the most contentious of which is to start turning migrants away. Around 30 per cent came from conflict-torn countries such as Syria and Iraq.

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