German interior minister 'offers to resign' over migrants

Germany secures deal for return of failed asylum claimants: reports

The CSU, a sister party of Merkel's CDU, is due to decide whether the deals on migration Merkel brought home from a 28-29 June EU summit in Brussels are enough to satisfy the party, which is determined to secure a tougher immigration policy. Seehofer wants to turn some asylum-seekers back at Germany's border, but Merkel is adamant that Germany shouldn't take unilateral action.

The CSU will face a state election in Bavaria in October and has opted to take a firm stance against immigration as part of its campaign.

Alternatively it could break up the two parties' decades-long alliance, effectively depriving Merkel of her majority in parliament and pitching Germany into uncharted political waters.

The leadership of Merkel's party on Sunday night approved a resolution stating that "turning people back unilaterally would be the wrong signal to our European partners". The German leader would not comment on Sunday on the outcome of the talks.

They and right-leaning members of the CDU fear the chancellor has led them too far into the centre, leaving space for the emergence of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), which has eaten into the conservative camp's vote.

As the CSU met in Munich, Ms Merkel's Christian Democrats met in Berlin to discuss what comes next.

The CSU's Bavarian state premier Markus Soeder said "of course what has been achieved in Brussels is more than we originally thought" at a political meeting Saturday.

The political crisis is one more sign of a growing rift in Europe between those who want to work together to reduce the number of migrants and refugees entering the bloc, and those who have grown exhausted of failed attempts to reach bloc-wide agreements and are taking unilateral action.

If not, he would defy her by going ahead with his border plans - likely exploding the governing coalition as the chancellor would be forced to fire him.

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

Afterwards, Merkel announced that she had also reached separate agreements with Spain and Greece on taking back asylum-seekers.

The CDU has 200 seats and the CSU 46.

Political stability was upset by Merkel's 2015 decision to keep borders open to migrants and refugees arriving from the Middle East via the Balkans, Hungary and Austria.

FILE - In this April 10, 2018 file photo German Chancellor Angela Merkel, front center, and German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, right, look at their watches after they and other members of the government posed for a group photo during two-day retreat at the government guest house Meseberg castle in Gransee north of Berlin, Germany.

Merkel told reporters on Friday that the European Union and bilateral deals were "more than equivalent in their effect" to Seehofer's demands.

Ahead of a hard Bavarian state election in October, the CSU is determined to show it is tough on migration.

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