German deal to handle migrants faces potential veto

And this week that split - personified by German interior minister and CSU leader Horst Seehofer - brought Germany's government to the brink of collapse.

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

Senior CSU figures, including Mr Dobrindt, immediately tried to persuade Mr Seehofer not to quit. Her unpopular policy was a large reason why her party, the Christian Democratic Union, crashed and burned in last September's elections.

If the CSU had withdrawn its support for Merkel's coalition, she would be left without a majority in the German parliament, possibly prompting fresh elections.

Merkel's other coalition, the Social Democratic Party, has yet to agree to the deal. The CDU's leaders, who are now gathered in Berlin for a second straight day of discussions, said they still see room for a compromise solution in the migration dispute.

The cantankerous Bavarian leader, who turns 69 this Wednesday, coyly said he would make a final decision on his job within three days.

Under the deal brokered in Brussels, EU leaders agreed to consider setting up "disembarkation platforms" outside the bloc, most likely in North Africa, in a bid to discourage migrants and refugees boarding EU-bound boats.

Member countries could also create processing centers to determine whether the new arrivals are returned home as economic migrants or admitted as refugees in willing states.

Merkel, however, rejected a key provision: turning back at the border all migrants previously registered in another European Union country as a unilateral act that would come at the expense of other member states.

Merkel says a plan to regulate immigration that European Union leaders approved Friday and bilateral agreements in principle that she hashed out with some countries for them to take back migrants would accomplish what Seehofer seeks.

Supporters of German AfD wave flags in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, May 27, 2018.

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

The strongest voice in opposition to mass migration in the Bundestag is the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, who have 94 seats to the governing coalition's 246.

The public approval has been largely in favor of Merkel's policies since 2015 but the support started to wane as the country began experiencing problems absorbing the new residents, the Times reported.

A Forsa poll published Monday showed some 77% of respondents said the conflict over immigration was putting the stability of the government at risk and two thirds said the CSU's behavior wasn't responsible.

But the CSU and CDU together form a center-right force that has dominated national politics for decades. To save her coalition, Merkel agreed to build transit camps for refugees trying to cross into Germany from Austria.

Seehofer and Merkel, who have long had a hard relationship, have sparred over migrant policy on and off since 2015. By suspending the European Union's Dublin regulations, which govern where immigrants are allowed to apply for asylum, Merkel took Hungary's burden and made it Germany's.


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