Merkel’s last-ditch migrant deal faces European Union headwinds

Merkel’s last-ditch migrant deal faces European Union headwinds

Merkel’s last-ditch migrant deal faces European Union headwinds

The "chain reaction" comes after German chancellor Angela Merkel agreed with her interior minister, Horst Seehofer, to police the 90 crossing points along Germany's 500-mile southern border with Austria.

Merkel and Seehofer, who heads Bavaria's ruling Christian Social Union (CSU), pulled back from the brink as they risked a coalition split that could have unraveled Merkel's chancellorship after nearly 13 years.

That's not the only good news for Merkel coming from public opinion surveys. Originally conceived as a protest movement against Germany's involvement with the Euro single currency, the AfD has recently found its voice - and unprecedented success at the ballot box - opposing mass migration.

Mr. Seehofer on Sunday rejected as insufficient an European Union plan to limit migrant flows backed by Ms. Merkel and her party.

According to summit conclusions, European Union member states will, on a voluntary basis, set up so-called "controlled centers" to host and transfer migrants that landed on European Union shores.

Christian Lindner, head of the pro-business Free Democrats, accused Merkel of having failed to find a satisfactory solution to the government's refugee policy since the late summer of 2015, when almost 1 million refugees arrived in Germany.

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

Seehofer, whose party faces a state election in the fall with a strong challenge from the far-right Alternative for Germany party, has threatened to turn away at the borders migrants whose asylum requests Germany already rejected or who already sought asylum elsewhere in Europe.

Her own interior minister, Horst Seehofer, has threatened to resign.

That decision opened a split between Merkel's Christian Democrats and the Christian Social Union, parties that have been in partnership since 1949.

"I think the way this debate is being conducted is hurting Germany's image and above all that of the German government", he said. No details emerged, but the expectation is that the CSU will support Merkel after its executive committee convenes on Sunday. SPD leader Andrea Nahles said there's still "a lot that needs to be discussed".

It means that Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who is known for his hard-line views on migration, will lead the council until the end of the year.

Applicants in these centers-which would be built on the border with Austria-could then be turned away and sent back to whatever European Union country they came from.

In a message to skeptics at home, she added that "we can't act as though the issue of defense weren't a pressing one in our time". He accused the CSU of a ruthless attitude towards refugees, insisting that the "C" in CDU and CSU no longer stood for "Christian" but for "chaos".

Angela Merkel returned from Brussels with an agreement forged, or critics would say fudged, with her European counterparts about the handling of refugees and migrants.

The idea of setting up centers at the border with Austria to process migrants is not new.

About 68,000 people applied for asylum in Germany in the first five months of this year, compared with a record of 745,500 in the whole of 2016.

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