Chaos in Merkel's coalition after key minister offers to resign

German interior minister 'offers to resign' over migrants

German interior minister 'offers to resign' over migrants

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. Trump told the World Trade Organization on Monday that "we'll be doing something" if the United States is not treated properly, just hours after the European Union said that USA automotive tariffs would hurt its own vehicle industry and prompt retaliation.

If the CSU were to pull out of their alliance, Mrs. Merkel's party and her partners in the governing coalition, the center-left Social Democrats, wouldn't have enough votes to pass legislation, putting her government at risk.

The sources said that in Sunday's private party meeting, Seehofer said he had a "conversation with no effect" with Merkel when they held talks on Saturday about the European Union migration deal, AFP news agency reported.

Alternatively, it could break up the two parties' 70-year partnership, depriving Merkel of her majority in parliament and pitching Germany into uncharted political waters.

Seehofer and Merkel are in a dispute over Germany's asylum policy.

Sources said Seehofer rejected Merkel's assessment that the EU-wide measures would "have the same effect" as his demand to turn away at the border asylum-seekers already registered in other European Union nations. Party leader Andrea Nahles said "the CSU is on a risky ego trip that is paralyzing Germany and Europe". In a meeting with his party leaders on Sunday night, Seehofer offered to resign from his ministerial role and party leadership, reports said.

The most important factor for her survival is probably how long her own CDU lawmakers stand by her, and for now they are.

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"So I think action in Germany to strengthen European interests is absolutely necessary", he said. Mr. Seehofer was later persuaded by party colleagues to talk to Ms. Merkel one last time on Monday to try to settle the dispute, declaring he would make his final decision within three days.

Before the refugee crisis of 2015, Seehofer was mainly concerned with regional pet projects tolerated by Merkel, such as rewarding mothers who raise young children at home with state benefits and charging foreign motorists for using Germany's Autobahn.

At a CSU congress in November that year, Seehofer berated Merkel for a full 15 minutes on stage, his 1.93 metres frame towering over the ill-at-ease chancellor.

The centre-left Social Democrats, another partner in the coalition, must also accept the deal along with neighbouring Austria.

The Forsa poll showed that 54 percent of Germans would have favored a CDU-CSU split over the migration question while 38 percent welcomed the agreement and the unity of the two sister parties.

Hans-Peter Friedrich, a member of the CSU leadership, said that Merkel's rejections of compromises submitted by Seehofer suggested she was happy to see him go. At the height of the record influx of migrants in 2015, Merkel agreed to a CSU proposal to set up transit zones at the border to filter out migrants who have little chance of gaining asylum.

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