Merkel gives in: German chancellor agrees to tighten immigration policies

Merkel gives in: German chancellor agrees to tighten immigration policies

Merkel gives in: German chancellor agrees to tighten immigration policies

German chancellor Angela Merkel halted the immediate threat of a government breakup in Europe's biggest economy, crafting a plan to tighten migration and keep her Bavarian sister party in the fold.

"After intensive discussions between the CDU and CSU we have reached an agreement on how we can in future prevent illegal immigration on the border between Germany and Austria", Mr Seehofer said as he left the CDU's Berlin headquarters.

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 rejected that proposal as a unilateral move that violated European asylum law and risked causing havoc with other EU governments.

He also believes that these elections "would revolve on the immigration issue" with no chance of victory for the Christian Democratic Union. 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.

One possibility is for the 70-year-old CDU and CSU alliance to split which would rob Merkel of her parliamentary majority.

The German leader, under whose watch over a million migrants came into the country since 2015, was challenged by her rebellious Bavarian allies who threatened her to change the course of the nation or face the collapse of the delicate coalition government and therefore her leadership.

"She's switched camp from the moderates in the government coalition, left the SPD and is now joining the CSU, but by this she has lot a lost of her credibility within the coalition party and also in public opinion".

Merkel's CDU relies on the CSU to maintain power through a coalition.

Bavaria's Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann, who has been tipped as a potential successor to Mr. Seehofer, said in a radio interview his party wanted an agreement with the CDU but gave no indication about what a compromise could look like.

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.

Rome's hardline Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has stressed that his overburdened country is not ready to take in any more migrants.

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

Merkel, who has been in office since 2005, warned last week the issue of migration could decide the very future of the European Union itself.

Seehofer reportedly argues that measures to tackle migration agreed at a European Union summit last week aren't enough.

German politicians who criticized the agreement say Merkel and her conservatives had abandoned the country's moral mission.

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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