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Angela Merkel seeks migrant talks with EU states, faces coalition crisis

Angela Merkel seeks migrant talks with EU states, faces coalition crisis

How it would be funded was also up for discussion with other eurozone members, said Merkel, suggesting that it could involve regular transfers made by individual countries or a tax on financial transactions.

"Be smart America!" said the president, who is under mounting pressure to end the separation of immigrant families on the southern U.S. border. However the dispute ends, it has exposed her government's fragility at a hard time for the continent.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's fourth-term government took almost six months to put together, taking office in March after the centre-left Social Democrats reluctantly agreed to team up with her conservatives again.

Seehofer has been calling for Germany to turn back migrants previously registered as asylum-seekers in other European countries.

A defiant Interior Minister Horst Seehofer warned that he would give Merkel a fortnight to find a European deal to curb new arrivals by a June 28-29 EU summit, failing which he vowed to order border police to turn back migrants.

European stocks, and particularly the German market, have been hit once again over recent days by the possibility of political turmoil in Germany caused by disagreements within the ruling coalition over the country's migrant policy.

As of last week, it looked like the interior minister would go ahead with these plans with or without the Chancellor's support, potentially forcing her to sack him and thus break the three-month old coalition keeping her government together.

Merkel, widely viewed as a leader of liberal forces in Europe, is insisting on finding a wider European solution for the issue of immigration. The stakes for the European Union are high, she said.

"Our goal remains a European answer to these challenges", she said. She said her party will consider the results on July 1 "and decide how to proceed in light of what has been achieved".




On Sunday afternoon Merkel met with senior members of her party at the CDU headquarters to discuss the row.

"Germany also has a head of government", he said of Merkel, saying it was she who was "responsible before her people and her parliament".

Merkel said the common tax system would also help both countries shore up their competitiveness in the face of a potential trade war unleashed by US President Donald Trump.

"I have here in my hands figures from the Germany Ministry of the Interior under Minister Seehofer", reporter John Gizzi said.

Merkel has had an often-tense history with Seehofer, and their relationship became really hard after Merkel's 2015 decision to keep Germany's borders open as migrants streamed across the Balkans.

CSU expects that at the next European Union summit in June, Merkel will be able to reach a compromise with other countries on the issue of countering the influx of illegal immigrants.

Merkel argues that Germany must not take the sudden and unilateral step of rejecting asylum seekers at the border, which would add to the burden faced by frontline countries like Italy and Greece.

Merkel and Seehofer are due to speak to the press at 2 p.m. local time.

More than one and a half million refugees have arrived in Germany since 2014, which has been a logistical and political challenge that AFD has been able to exploit.


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