German interior minister offers to quit amid migration row

Fraser Nelson

Fraser Nelson

Both sides hammered out "a good compromise. after a hard struggle", Merkel said, adding that it involved setting up holding and processing centres for asylum seekers near German borders.

Bavarian conservative leader Horst Seehofer had threatened to resign his position as leader of his party and German Interior Minister if Dr Merkel failed to strike a bargain to control immigration to Germany - either multilaterally within Europe, or unilaterally at home. But earlier, Bavaria's premier Markus Soeder, mindful of October regional elections in which he faces a stiff challenge from the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD), was positive.

The flash point issue is Seehofer's demand to order German border police to turn back asylum seekers already registered elsewhere in the European Union, and his threat to do so against Merkel's wishes.

Seehofer, 68, has been a headache for Merkel, especially over her open-door migrant policy, and the last three years have been punctuated by a series of showdowns between the two.

However, the current dispute arose as far fewer newcomers have sought to enter Germany.

Merkel had last week proposed a host of commitments on refugee policy from the European Union members. Returning migrants to the county where they first registered with the agreement of that nation preserved the EU's "spirit of partnership", Merkel said.

The deal still requires the consent of Merkel's other coalition partner, the centre-left Social Democrats, to become government policy.

Seehofer made no comment to reporters as he arrived at Monday's meeting in Berlin.

If he orders border police to go ahead with the scheme in defiance of the chancellor, Merkel would be forced to fire him, in turn prompting a CSU walkout that would cost her majority in parliament.

Before the sides met, CDU leaders and lawmakers stressed the importance of maintaining the conservative alliance, Germany's strongest political force for much of its post-war history.

The standoff came about over Seehofer's plan to turn back any asylum-seekers at Germany's borders who had registered in another European Union country. "The sum total of everything we've agreed on is the same as what the CSU wants", the chancellor told broadcaster ZDF the next day.

Individuals who are rejected by those countries will be pointed back into Austria "upon agreement" with Vienna, according to the deal that Mrs Merkel called a "very good compromise". "I hope that the CSU will receive their just deserts for their actions".

But he also struck a conciliatory tone, saying "there is an abundance of possibilities. for compromises", without specifying what they were.

He could defy her orders by ordering border police to carry out his plan, which would force her to fire him and nearly certainly break up the CDU-CSU alliance, or he could accept a humiliating climbdown or resign.

Differences with the CSU only pertained to the way how to achieve a reduction in migration, not to the goal as such, Merkel said. Party leader Andrea Nahles said "the CSU is on a unsafe ego trip that is paralyzing Germany and Europe".

Recommended News

  • Bolton says he raised U.S.  election meddling with Putin, reports CBS

    Bolton says he raised U.S. election meddling with Putin, reports CBS

    They had previously met on the sidelines of a G-20 gathering in Germany and an Asian Pacific conference in Vietnam past year . Trump and Putin have met twice before on the sidelines of global gatherings and spoken at least eight times by phone.
    'It's bad': Capital Gazette reporter tweets account of newspaper shooting

    'It's bad': Capital Gazette reporter tweets account of newspaper shooting

    Davis later tweeted the gunman "shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees". A massive police presence could be seen outside the office of the paper, which is owned by the Baltimore Sun .
    Meghan Markle and Queen Elizabeth Cracked Up at Prince Harry's Self-Deprecating Joke

    Meghan Markle and Queen Elizabeth Cracked Up at Prince Harry's Self-Deprecating Joke

    Prince Charles had to step into his place and Meghan's only family at the wedding was her mum, Doria Ragland. The increase of $2.5m suggests the Duchess of Sussex hasn't come cheap.
  • Trading draft rights, Kevin Love are options for Cavaliers | Jeff Schudel

    Trading draft rights, Kevin Love are options for Cavaliers | Jeff Schudel

    Best coach: Greg Popovich; Best Two-Way Player In The League: Kawhi Leonard; Best Player In The World: LeBron James. Love has two seasons remaining on his deal with the Cavaliers and is owed just more than $49.7 million.
    Fans react to blistering start in Croatia v Denmark

    Fans react to blistering start in Croatia v Denmark

    Chance for Croatia! Rakitic fires in a shot from distance, for Schmeichel to make a save, only for the rebound to fall to Rebic. For Denmark , the creative spark will come from Christian Eriksen , who is allowed pretty much a free role in midfield.
    News Amy Hennig Leaves EA, Goes Independent

    News Amy Hennig Leaves EA, Goes Independent

    She then went on to discuss how independent operations are going and how she hopes to stay independent for the rest of her career. Speaking recently withEurogamer, Amy Hennig has revealed more on the events of last October along with what she plans to do next.
  • US Judge Orders Reuniting of Separated Families in 30 Days

    US Judge Orders Reuniting of Separated Families in 30 Days

    Outraged by the family separations , immigrant supporters have led protests in recent days in states such as Florida and Texas. Bush, ruled that the administration must establish "regular communication" between parents and their children within 10 days.
    Protesters march against Trump's immigration policy

    Protesters march against Trump's immigration policy

    The Associated Press reported that 575 protesters were eventually arrested after refusing to leave the building. Marchers gathered in Raleigh, in Pittsburgh, in Louisville, in Houston, in Antler, North Dakota, population 27.
    Uruguay vs Portugal | 30 Jun 2018

    Uruguay vs Portugal | 30 Jun 2018

    Uruguay is the only team that didn't concede a goal in the first round - in a group containing Russia , Saudi Arabia and Egypt. However, they have lost their last three games in the World Cup knockout stages (one goal scored, five conceded).
  • Milwaukee Bucks center Thon Maker in brawl during FIBA qualifying game

    Milwaukee Bucks center Thon Maker in brawl during FIBA qualifying game

    While we accept our role in the incident , what we don't accept is when fans and officials get involved. Moore said Basketball Australia later apologised to the Philippines Basketball Association.
    North Korea May Have Ramped Up Nuclear Production

    North Korea May Have Ramped Up Nuclear Production

    Trump touted the agreement as a significant step toward peace in the world. What we are going to give is good things in the future.

    Uruguay Vs. Portugal Live Stream

    Cavani now has three goals at the World Cup , but limped off in the 70th minute with an apparent injury and had to be replaced. That is the message from Portugal coach Fernando Santos to his team ahead of Saturday's World Cup last-16 clash in Sochi .

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.