Economy

German interior minister 'offers to resign' over migrants

German interior minister 'offers to resign' over migrants”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel made a last-ditch effort to resolve a row over migrant policy with her conservative allies on Monday after a top Minister threatened to resign, casting doubt on whether her coalition can survive.

The proposal could also shift the political crisis south to Austria, where the government said it could take its own measures to protect its borders.

Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) passed a resolution on Sunday night supporting her position on migration.

Interior Minister, Horst Seehofer says, "We have reached an agreement after very intensive negotiations between the CDU and CSU".

Secretary General of the Christian Democratic Union Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, center, arrives to deliver a statement after a party leadership meeting at the CDU headquarters in Berlin, on July 1, 2018.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the agreement "allows us to preserve the spirit of partnership in the European Union".

She said the compromise between the CSU and the CDU would secure the principle of freedom of movement within the European Union while allowing Germany to take "national measures" to limit migrant arrivals. The party leader, Andrea Nahles, said on Tuesday morning that she opposed the term "transit centres". "The CSU must naturally decide that for itself".

Under the deal brokered in Brussels, EU leaders agreed to consider setting up "disembarkation platforms" outside the bloc, most likely in North Africa, in a bid to discourage migrants and refugees boarding EU-bound boats.

While averting an immediate crisis, the plan also raised new questions - especially when it comes to Italy, the main arrival country for migrants crossing the Mediterranean.

Mr. Seehofer and Ms. Merkel have been at loggerheads for two weeks over the minister's insistence that federal police turn back at the border migrants with an open asylum application in another European Union member state. They would be returned to Austria otherwise. The AfD that swept into Parliament previous year on a wave of anti-migrant sentiment is staging a march Sunday through the heart of Berlin to protest against the government.

That left him with only three options. He insisted the CSU doesn't want to break up the conservative partnership.

As the CDU and CSU parties hunkered down in Berlin and Munich, leaders on both sides sought to clarify what was a stake.

The conflict's political driving forces, including a state election in Bavaria in October, "will remain with us for months to come", he said.

Meanwhile for Merkel's troops, "the image of the country, our ability to act and our ability to govern" were at stake, said economy minister and close Merkel ally Peter Altmaier.

Ahead of a hard Bavarian state election in October, the CSU is determined to show it is tough on migration. Her open doors agenda has allowed for upwards of a million refugees to stream into her country since 2015.

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.



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