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German Interior minister drops resignation threat over migration

German Interior minister drops resignation threat over migration

"Should this agreement become the German government's position, we see that as prompting us to take action to prevent negative consequences for Austria and its population", Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said in a joint statement with two far-right cabinet members, asking Berlin to clarify its stance.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and her rebellious interior minister, Horst Seehofer, reached a compromise on migration at nearly literally the eleventh hour Monday, averting a government crisis for the time being.

German Chancellor and chairwoman of the German Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Angela Merkel, announces new deal with Interior Minister and chairman of the German Christian Social Union (CDU), Horst Seehofer, in Berlin on Monday. Gains by the populist Alternative for Germany have returned the topic to the CSU's agenda ahead of the state election.

Seehofer told party colleagues at an executive committee meeting on Sunday that discussions with Merkel had been fruitless, according to a party source. However, the current dispute has erupted as Germany is seeing far fewer newcomers than in 2015.

If Merkel holds firm and Seehofer does quit, the CSU could offer a replacement interior minister if it aims to remain tied to her party.

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

The future of Merkel's governing coalition between the CDU-CSU alliance and the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) appeared to hang by a thread, as media slammed what they called a reckless game of chicken.

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Interior Minister Horst Seehofer arrives for a meeting at the CDU headquarters in Berlin, Germany, July 2, 2018. But in comments to the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, he complained that he was in an "inconceivable" situation. He insulted Merkel in a newspaper interview saying, "I will not let myself be dismissed by a chancellor who is only chancellor because of me".

"She was able to to compromise, but she's totally sold out her political principles with this". Any migrant who already applied for asylum in another European country would be rejected and asked to return to the countries where they made the applications.

The CSU's showdown with Merkel comes as it faces an October state election in Bavaria in which it fears losing its cherished absolute majority.

European agreements "will take a very long time" to take effect and there are uncertainties over which countries will join, hard-line Bavarian governor Markus Soeder said.

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.

Without Monday night's compromise, Mr. Seehofer would have been fired or would have resigned, which could have brought down the government if his party then withdrew from the coalition.

"The blame game between CDU and CSU must end, because it is irresponsible", she said.


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