Merkel's migrant deal hangs on Social Democrat, EU approval

Will the divisions over migration split Germany conservative coalition and spell an end of the line for Chancellor Angela Merkel

If the CSU were to withdraw its support for Ms. Merkel's party, her options would include joining forces with the migration-friendly Greens or heading a minority government.

Seehofer seemed certain to walk away from the government after Merkel failed to compromise on her strong open-borders convictions, however, an agreement to tighten borders has reportedly been struck.

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.

At the national level, Merkel also proposed that migrants arriving in Germany who first registered in another European Union country should be placed in special "admissions centers" under restrictive conditions, according to a document she sent to the CSU and the Socialists. But Ms. Merkel has rejected any unilateral action by Germany, and insists on a coordinated European approach, as agreed at last week's EU asylum-policy summit in Brussels.

"As such the spirit of partnership in the European Union is preserved and at the same time an important step to order and control secondary migration and that's why I think that we have found a good compromise after tough negotiations and hard days".

"For the Christian Social Union (CSU) it is of utmost importance not to lose its credibility.The promise has been that Seehofer would stop immigration of those who are not entitled to go through the asylum procedure in Germany".

The border deal, hailed by the German chancellor as a "good compromise", foresees setting up so-called transit centres on the southern border, where asylum seekers who have already been registered in other European Union countries will be held until they can be sent back to those countries.

Seehofer will attempt last-ditch talks with Merkel on Monday, but the discussions will be taking place in an increasingly antagonistic atmosphere.

Given that the CDU and SPD without the CSU would be short of only two seats in parliament, she could hope for support for individual policies from the Greens, liberal Free Democrats (FDP) and possibly even the CSU in some cases.

After half a year of coalition building, Seehofer, having been ousted by ambitious rival Markus Soeder as Bavarian state premier, returned to Berlin, where he previously held ministerial posts, to rejoin Merkel's cabinet.

The compromise, which also depends on her Social Democrats (SPD) coalition partners and Austria giving it the nod, met scathing criticism in the German media. But if he had pulled the CSU out of the coalition, the government would have collapsed-and Merkel's career likely would have been over.

Crucially for Merkel, CDU lawmakers are backing her - so far.

The new policy is a compromise that allowed Merkel and CSU head Horst Seehofer to defuse their confrontation.

Though the heated showdown is by far the worst yet between Seehofer and Merkel, it is by no means the first provoked by the Bavarian former state premier who is known for his unvarnished straight talk and political brinkmanship.

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