Macron backs Merkel in German row over migrants

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer | Adam Berry  Getty Images

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer | Adam Berry Getty Images

A Twitter hoax has sparked chaos in Germany after claiming Angela Merkel's coalition had fallen apart.

The CSU's secretary general Markus Blume said Germans wanted to see the government get immigration under control.

Germany should ally itself with Austria and Italy on migration and security policies, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said on Wednesday, a shift that could prove uncomfortable for Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Merkel told the CDU leadership on Thursday morning she had proposed that asylum seekers who had already been rejected by Germany could be turned back at the border.

Hans Michelbach, deputy head of the CSU faction in the German parliament, slammed the report as "rubbish", pointing out that the CSU was willing to preserve its alliance with the CDU.

However, the broadcaster the quickly confirmed the account was fake.

Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, is to hold last-ditch talks to save her coalition government this weekend amid a major European rift over migrant policy. Although, failure to do so in which the CSU deem any immigration solution as too soft, the Interior Minister could utilise his ministerial powers impose new and tougher immigrations rules.

And 86 per cent want faster deportations of rejected asylum seekers, a process now often held up by bureaucratic hurdles, according to the Infratest dimap poll.

Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert, who was at a government news conference at the time of Friday's tweet, said there were signs that the tweet actually came from a writer at the satirical magazine Titanic.

Merkel objects to part of Seehofer's plan which allows German authorities to reject migrants who reach German borders, drawn by the country's prosperity and stability, if they have already registered in other European Union states to the south.

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At the meeting, CSU lawmakers said they could not wait that long.

Merkel rejects the idea, fearing it would be seen in the European Union as Germany going it alone and hurt already over-burdened frontline Mediterranean countries such as Italy and Greece.

She has pledged instead to seek bilateral agreements with these countries and a wider solution by the European Union, which holds its next summit on June 28-29. The CSU will decide on further steps on Monday.

Seehofer will on that day seek CSU party backing to use his ministerial authority to order border police to turn back the asylum seekers.

Near-bankrupt Greece famously spends a far higher proportion of its GDP on the military than Germany, although there are numerous historical reasons for this on both sides.

As a minister, Seehofer could take the decision alone but that would risk fracturing the coalition and lead to early elections.

For decades the CSU - the Bavarian sister party of the CDU - has been in alliance with Mrs Merkel's conservatives.

Soeder says his party, which is fearful of losing voters to the far-right Alternative for Germany in the Bavarian election on October 14, wants to "put the needs of our population center-stage".

"The task of governing our country isn't an episode of Game of Thrones, but a serious matter", Olaf Scholz said on Twitter.

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