Germany's Merkel seeks European solution to migrant dispute

A reversal of her 2015 open-door migrant policy would be a huge blow to Merkel's authority

A reversal of her 2015 open-door migrant policy would be a huge blow to Merkel's authority

"These are all questions that we will discuss in the coming months and where we want to work very closely together", Merkel said.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's fourth-term government took almost six months to put together, taking office in March after the centre-left Social Democrats reluctantly agreed to team up with her conservatives again.

Most migrants attempting to reach Europe from Africa take the sea route from Libya to Italy, though past year saw a spike in numbers departing from Morocco to Spain instead.

Striking a conciliatory tone in a guest column in the Frankfurter Allgemeine paper, Seehofer said the cohesion of Europe and Germany was at stake. She noted that formulating a joint European Union asylum policy was hard.

"Crime in Germany is up 10% plus (officials do not want to report these crimes) since migrants were accepted", Trump tweeted, a day after he claimed German people were "turning against their leadership" over immigration.

Ms Merkel is at war with her Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, who wants Germany to send back migrants who have registered in other European Union countries.

The whole issue stems from a political conflict in Germany, where Chancellor Angela Merkel's government decided in 2015 to allow over 1 million refugees from the Middle East and Africa to enter Germany.

Trump's tweet was meant to defend one he posted on Monday baselessly asserting that "Crime in Germany is way up".

Merkel, the EU's longest-serving leader, welcomed Monday's compromise in a dispute that has threatened to unravel her new coalition, and said her Christian Democrat (CDU) party would decide how to proceed after the two-week deadline elapsed. "More EU centralisation, this is not what voters want", tweeted former UKIP leader and MEP Nigel Farage, reacting to the news Tuesday afternoon.

Two parties have made up Germany's mainstream centre-right in the post-World War II era: the Christian Democratic Union, currently led by Merkel; and the Christian Social Union, now led by Interior Minister Horst Seehofer.

"We support the plans of the European Commission and the Austrian Term Presidency to strengthen the security at our external borders", she said.

Their meeting, to prepare for an European Union summit on June 28-29, had been dubbed a "moment of truth" for bilateral relations by France's finance minister, as Paris has pressed Berlin for months to agree reforms to crisis-proof the bloc.

Though Merkel had been lukewarm on Macron's idea of a European budget, in a declaration adopted by both leaders following the meeting they said they had agreed upon a proposal to establish one aimed at "competitiveness and convergence".

"Our colleagues consider the latter option very unlikely and see a further muddling through with no clear victor but a substantially damaged Merkel as the most likely outcome".

"France and Germany will ensure that those who are registered in a Schengen zone country can be taken back as quickly as possible to the country where they were registered", he said, vowing to achieve this through bilateral and multi-national agreements.

Holger Schmieding, chief economist at Berenberg Bank said: "This is definitely the worst crisis she has faced in her 13 years as German chancellor". That route has since been closed under a 2016 deal Turkey-EU deal.

This was also down from 890,000 in 2015, at the peak of the migrant crisis.

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