German AfD accuses Merkel allies of copying tough line on migrants

Merkel is sticking to her guns maintaining an open-door migrant policy is crucial for keeping Europe united

Merkel is sticking to her guns maintaining an open-door migrant policy is crucial for keeping Europe united

Merkel, however, opposes any unilateral move to reverse her 2015 open-door policy and undermine her authority.

Merkel is adamant that a European solution is needed and is seeking bilateral deals with some partners, such as Italy and Greece, similar to one agreed between Turkey and the EU in 2016.

She dashed Macron's hopes for a joint eurozone finance minister and budget, mindful of German public fears that their tax money be squandered on what voters see as fiscal irresponsibility in southern European Union states. Such a direct challenge to Merkel would force her to fire Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, a Bavarian who has always been a thorn in her side on migrant policy.

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

Finally, they said victims of crime are twice as likely to report incidents if they are committed by people who are different from them, distorting the statistics.

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Three years after her decision to open Germany's borders to migrants fleeing war in Syria and Iraq and misery elsewhere, Merkel is still struggling to find a sustainable solution to end the grumbling from her Bavarian allies CSU over her liberal refugee policy.

Speaking to dpa on Tuesday, Bavarian governor Markus Soeder (CSU) expressed skepticism that Merkel would succeed in meeting the tight deadline set by the CSU.

At issue Monday was whether the CSU would give her time to try to reach such a deal.

Merkel wants the European Union to find an equitable solution to the migrant crisis at its summit later this month.

In the meanwhile, a poll published on Tuesday in the newspaper BILD suggests that the CDU and CSU have suffered a loss of public trust as a result of their escalating cabinet rift.

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

German news agency dpa reports that Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has told his party he wants to proceed step-by-step in his plan to turn back some migrants at the country's borders - hinting at a compromise in a dispute with Chancellor Angela Merkel. While the CSU is widely expected to win that vote, it faces a strong challenge from the far-right Alternative for Germany party, or AfD.

Germany had the most asylum seekers of any European nation, with more than 200,000.

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.

The backlash has left Mrs Merkel trying to hold her coalition together.

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"The CDU stands behind the chancellor; the CDU stands behind a European approach", said Armin Laschet, prime minister of North Rhine-Westphalia and a deputy CDU chairman. "Of course, we need to do more to combat crime, but those were indeed encouraging numbers".

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