Merkel Faces Showdown in Germany Over Migrant Policy

German coalition teeters as minister offers to resign over migrants

Merkel on the brink as interior minister signals intention to resign

The "chain reaction" comes after German chancellor Angela Merkel agreed with her interior minister, Horst Seehofer, to police the 90 crossing points along Germany's 500-mile southern border with Austria.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling coalition was facing an uncertain future, as her hardline conservative interior minister Sunday offered his resignation after weeks of battling to change her mind on migrant policy.

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.

But soon after, Seehofer said he would hold last-ditch talks with Merkel's CDU "in hopes of reaching an understanding". Seehofer wants to unilaterally turn back refugees already registered in other European Union (EU) member states, while Merkel opposes it and has been calling for a European solution.

The conflict's political driving forces, including a state election in Bavaria in October, "will remain with us for months to come", he said.

Seehofer said after talks with his party stretching into the small hours of yesterday morning that he would step down as minister and head of the Christian Social Union rather than acquiesce in the increasingly bitter standoff.

However, according to das Bild, Seehofer called the meeting on Saturday evening an "ineffective conversation".

Patzelt also thinks there is a high probability that Seehofer, who has previously issued warnings to such effect, will use his power to make sure that asylum seekers are refused entry to Germany if they have already been registered in another European country.

Migrants would be held in new detention centres, with those found to have first-entered the European Union in, for instance, Italy, turned back "on the basis of an agreement with the Republic of Austria".

"We have many open questions", said Nahles, whose lawmakers discussed the deal on Tuesday.

Long angered by the influx of mostly Muslim refugees crossing via Austria into his Alpine homeland, Merkel's hard-line interior minister has threatened to openly defy her in what could end as a spectacular political suicide attack.

Horst Seehofer, leader of the CSU, a key party in Merkel's coalition, has become increasingly hostile to her position on immigration. "I have not studied it in detail but at first glance - and I have asked the legal services to look at it - it seems to me to be in line with the law", Juncker told a news conference in Strasbourg.

Under the pact both sides hailed as a victory, Ms. Merkel and Mr. Seehofer agreed to tighten border controls and set up closed "transit centres" on the Austrian frontier to allow the speedy processing of asylum seekers and the repatriation of those rejected. While much of what was agreed remains vague, it is clear that the "solution" will involve "transit centres" on Germany's border with Austria and bilateral deals with other European Union nations.

Latest News