Monday 24 September 2018

Merkel given two-week deadline in German migrants row

If no agreements are reached, the idea is for Germany then to begin turning back migrants.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (Markus Schreiber/AP)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (Markus Schreiber/AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Bavarian allies have put on hold moves to turn back some migrants unilaterally at the country’s border.

The decision gives Ms Merkel two weeks to find an agreement with other European governments, news agency dpa reported.

Over the past week, a conflict between Interior Minister Horst Seehofer and Ms Merkel over migrant policy has escalated into a threat to her government.

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel talks to Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (Michael Kappeler/dpa/AP)

Mr Seehofer has been calling for Germany to turn back migrants previously registered as asylum-seekers in other European countries.

Ms Merkel opposes unilateral action, arguing that it would increase pressure on countries such as Italy and Greece and weaken the 28-nation European Union.

Mr Seehofer heads the Bavaria-only Christian Social Union, the sister party to Ms Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union.

The CSU is determined to show that it is tough on migration, arguing that this is the best way to cut support for the far-right Alternative for Germany ahead of a challenging state election in Bavaria in October.

A CSU leadership meeting in Munich unanimously backed Mr Seehofer’s plan to give Ms Merkel until the end of the month to find a solution with other EU countries, dpa reported.

If no agreements are reached, the idea is for Germany then to begin turning back migrants.

Press Association

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