Merkel Accepts Deadline in Coalition Fight Over Refugees

GETTY•BUNDESTAGAngela Merkel could be replace as German Chancellor as soon as next week claims Kai Whittaker

GETTY•BUNDESTAGAngela Merkel could be replace as German Chancellor as soon as next week claims Kai Whittaker

German Chancellor Angela Merkel insisted Saturday that migration is "a European challenge that needs a European answer" amid a dispute over the issue inside her government and ahead of a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Germany's Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said on Sunday a row between his Bavarians and Chancellor Angela Merkel is serious but can be overcome, a signal that he may compromise to avoid a full-blown German coalition crisis.

Merkel has said she is "favourable" to a French call to create a European Intervention Initiative of forces which could be deployed rapidly to deal with crises outside the framework of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

"We want to make sure that we don't always wait for absolute consensus", she said, and argued that such changes have become necessary to better respond to an ever changing world.

If Seehofer were to defy her and go ahead with his plans on Monday, Merkel would nearly certainly be forced to fire him.

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For Merkel, in power for over 12 years, the stakes could not be higher as she leads an uneasy coalition government with a narrow majority that took half a year to cobble together.

During a press briefing on Monday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was confronted about the disconnect between Trump's tweet and reality.

The tweets come as Merkel is in a stand-off with her interior minister over new immigration curbs.

A government spokesman said Merkel was also seeking talks with some European Union members before the leaders summit but denied a Bild report that she was trying to set up a special summit.

Mike Mohring, the CDU leader in the eastern state of Thuringia, told the daily Die Welt that he expects the CSU to give Merkel two weeks to find a European solution.

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"Asylum-seekers who have been registered in other European Union member states should be turned away at Germany's border", he insisted, despite Merkel's opposition to such a unilateral step.

Asked in Berlin whether her government can work well until the end of its term in 2021 and whether she is still in full control, Merkel replied: "Yes to both".

NELSON: The interior minister and his party, which is facing a major challenge from far-right populists in upcoming regional elections, say they will unilaterally prevent migrants from crossing Bavaria's global borders if Berlin doesn't act.

The document, whose wording might still change, is not public but was seen by Reuters before the June 28-29 European Union summit, where all 28 European Union leaders will lock horns again over migration, an issue that has bitterly divided them.

Merkel's talks on Monday evening with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte could prove crucial if she is to have any chance of finding concordance in Brussels.

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Merkel, who opened the country to more than a million people fleeing war, oppression and poverty in 2015 and 2016, vehemently opposes such a move and is pressing for a Europe-wide solution to the continent's continued struggles with migration.

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