In coalition showdown, Merkel allies to decide on migrant plan

German government teetering on collapse over Chancellor Angela Merkel’s immigration policies

Speaking on BBC World at One, the German politician claimed clashes between Angela Merkel and German interior minister Horst Seehofer could result in a "new political situation" in Germany by the end of next week.

She insists that unilateral action by Germany would trigger a wider crisis, and will now use the run-up to a June 28-29 summit of European Union leaders to try and forge some sort of agreement.

The Bavarians have threatened to defy Merkel and on Monday go ahead with plans which she has sought to block. He has always been an outspoken critic of her decision, and in recent days the two leaders have been locked in a standoff.

Seehofer wants Germany to have the right to reject migrants who have already registered in another European Union state but Merkel opposes any unilateral move by him that would reverse her 2015 open-door policy and undermine her authority.

However it ends, the spat has laid bare the limits of Merkel's authority in a fractious government that took office in March after almost six months of postelection haggling.

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One of the main considerations for the CSU in the near-term is the looming Bavarian elections scheduled for October of this year.

Bavarian governor Markus Soeder and the party's top federal lawmaker, Alexander Dobrindt, have been even more vehement than Seehofer in demanding immediate action on migration.

Mr Merkel is adamant that there needs to be a Europe-wide migrant policy, but Mr Seehofer disagrees and last week reportedly told CSU leaders in private he "can no longer work" with the chancellor.

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 inflow of migrants is "a European challenge that requires a European answer".

The chancellor, who is scheduled to meet her French counterpart Emmanuel Macron next week, said Germany and France would seek to set the agenda for European Union cooperation on defense, security and foreign policy ahead of the June summit.

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Former Bavarian premier Guenther Beckstein suggested on Saturday that one way out might be for Germany to agree to the CSU policy but to implement it only after the EU summit, to give Merkel time to deliver her "European solution". "Angela Merkel and Horst Seehofer simply must pull together", he said, warning that the alternative would be "chaos".

But Mrs Merkel is facing major opposition from within her own Government ranks from ministers furious at her open door policy for the wave of migrants who landed in Europe in 2015.

As the domestic storm unfolded this week, Merkel remained insistent that the EU-28 can only solve migration challenges as a group.

However, a spokesman said Mrs Merkel is in close contact with those states.

The German government said no special EU summit is planned, and that would be a matter for EU leaders in Brussels, but "of course the German government is holding talks with various member states and the (EU) Commission" about immigration in Europe.

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