Merkel settles migration row with Bavarian ally

Will the divisions over migration split Germany conservative coalition and spell an end of the line for Chancellor Angela Merkel

Will the divisions over migration split Germany conservative coalition and spell an end of the line for Chancellor Angela Merkel

Seehofer is a member of the Christian Social Union, an ally of Merkel's party.

Germany's Interior Minister Horst Seehofer says he will not resign, after hours of crisis talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Meanwhile, migration experts have criticised the border arrangement proposed by Merkel and Seehofer.

Speaking of the deal after terse negotiations on Monday, Mrs Merkel said: "We want on the one hand to set up transit centres in Germany and from there carry out returns in agreement with countries from which asylum seekers come and where they are already registered".

Public anger and fear about the newcomers has given rise to the far-right, anti-Islam Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which entered parliament past year and threatens Seehofer's CSU in Bavarian state polls in October.

It was reported that Merkel had believed that the European solution could satisfy CSU's ultimatum, which was due on Sunday, otherwise Seehofer would bypass Merkel to implement a tougher asylum policy.

In a sign of mounting frustration, Seehofer reportedly told CSU colleagues that he "travelled especially to Berlin but the chancellor is moving zero point zero" per cent with her stance.

However, according to das Bild, Seehofer called the meeting on Saturday evening an "ineffective conversation".

The coalition parties, comprising Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU), the CSU and Social Democrats (SPD), are holding a series of meetings on Monday to decide what action to take.

Migrants would be held in new detention centres, with those found to have first-entered the European Union in, for instance, Italy, turned back "on the basis of an agreement with the Republic of Austria".

German Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer insisted on his plan to turn away asylum seekers at the border with Austria registered in other European countries, as he rejected EU deals reached last week by Merkel as inadequate.

Merkel, who has been in office since 2005, warned last week the battle over migration could decide the EU's future.

Officials from the Bavaria-based CSU accused Merkel of rejecting several compromise proposals made by Seehofer to heal the rift with her own CDU.

But by forcing Merkel to campaign for a much tougher European Union line on migration, Seehofer has already scored a humiliating victory, with Soeder gloating that "without Bavaria's clear position, Berlin would not have moved as quickly". SPD leader Andrea Nahles said there's still "a lot that needs to be discussed".

Merkel has survived a populist wave that has swept through Europe longer than most German leaders, but the wave has now left her grip on the country vulnerable.

A Forsa poll published Monday showed some 77% of respondents said the conflict over immigration was putting the stability of the government at risk and two thirds said the CSU's behavior wasn't responsible. "We want a humanitarian, but also realistic, migration policy", she told a news conference.

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