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Doubts raised over Merkel compromise on border controls

Doubts raised over Merkel compromise on border controls

Horst Seehofer on Sunday night resigned from his posts as German interior minister and chairman of the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU), amid disputes with Chancellor Angela Merkel over asylum policy, reported Deutsche Presse Agentur.

Germany's interior minister has offered to resign over Chancellor Angela Merkel's "ineffective" European Union deal to tackle migration, according to reports. The chairman of the "sister party" to Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU), Horst Seehofer announced on Sunday he would resign as Germany's interior minister if Berlin did not back stronger border-control measures in the south.

Germany's constitution prevents federal ministers from outright quitting their positions, and must request to be dismissed by the German President.

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.

Mr Seehofer proposed turning away immigrants from Germany's borders who had registered in other countries if Ms Merkel could not secure agreement with European partners on tougher measures to deal with the issue.

"It is a precious thing for our party system and that is why I'm confident we will succeed", he said.

The deal also faces a potential challenge from the European Union.

The Seehofer-Merkel meeting is scheduled for 5pm CEST.

In addition, Knaus said, the emphasis on transit centres would mean Bavaria bearing most of the administrative burden of registering and processing refugees and migrants who arrive in Germany.

Officials from the Bavaria-based CSU accused Merkel of rejecting several compromise proposals made by Seehofer to heal the rift with her own CDU.

The two did not even put on a united front after the breakthrough: after five hours of talks, a relieved-looking Seehofer and matter-of-fact Merkel addressed reporters separately after their deal was struck. But if he had pulled the CSU out of the coalition, the government would have collapsed-and Merkel's career likely would have been over.

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

It was the latest aftershock from Ms Merkel's 2015 decision to open Germany's borders to more than one million refugees fleeing from war in the Middle East and Africa.

She could also call a vote of no confidence.

Although the move to appease the conservatives exposed her growing political weakness, Ms. Merkel will limp on as chancellor.

Otherwise, a new election is possible.

Crucially for Merkel, CDU lawmakers are backing her - so far.

What did Mrs Merkel negotiate with the EU?

Following the news of Seehofer's resignation, the CDU has immediately stressed its support for Merkel's European solution in asylum policy.

Polls indicate the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), would be among the biggest winners, an unpalatable outcome for Merkel and all other parties.


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