Macron backs Merkel in German row over migrants

Angela Merkel and Horst Seehofer

GETTYThe German Chancellor's government could be about to collapse

Merkel is at odds with Interior Minister Horst Seehofer of the CSU over his "Masterplan for Migration", in which he wants to show voters a tough line before a Bavarian regional election in October.

The government has expressed it wants to remain part of the database, along with the EAW and European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS), which enables information about criminal convictions to be exchanged and is unavailable for countries outside the EU. The chancellor's decision to open Germany's borders to over a million refugees since the summer of 2015, has painted her as a savior, as well as a villain.

Mr Seehofer has been a long-standing critic of that open-door policy, which was summed up at the time by Mrs Merkel's phrase "we can manage". The Chancellor also proposes to sign bilateral agreements with countries with most migratory pressure to send back those asylum seekers who have entered European Union by or countries. Turning back migrants at the border, she said this week, would only add pressure to neighboring countries such as Italy and Greece. Among them are many refugees from the Syria war and other conflict zones.

Addressing her party's annual Economic Council Conference in Berlin, Merkel endorsed the argument that the traditional indicator of the trade balance reflects trade in goods but not in services and, therefore, is outdated. However, the issue is costing her support within the CDU and is a growing source of tension within her conservative bloc. But she's still under pressure from her own party to strengthen migration policy and they'll expect her to find her long-promised co-ordinated European Union solution. It also found that only 37 percent were satisfied with the work of Merkel's government so far.

In that scenario, Merkel could lead a minority government with the third party in the coalition, the Social Democrats (SPD), or call fresh elections that would likely benefit only the AfD, he said. The CSU held its own emergency talks on the migrant issue on Thursday.

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Chancellor Merkel will most likely have discussions over the weekend to find a solution and reach a last-minute compromise with the CSU. In a highly unusual move, a session of the lower house, the Bundestag, was interrupted to allow the CDU and the CSU to meet separately on the issue.

The conservatives' centre-left coalition ally, the Social Democrat (SPD) party, said their dispute needed to be settled.

The German government has already imposed numerous measures to reduce the influx of refugees since 2015, when the number of migrants coming to Germany peaked follow Merkel's decision not to close the border to people coming through Hungary and Austria.

The announcement by Mr Kurz in Berlin after talks with German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer marks a shot across the bow of Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is trying to pull together a deal for European Union cooperation on placing asylum seekers.

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