Merkel rejects ultimatum on migrants, has two weeks to reach European Union deal


In another tweet he wrote, "We don't want what is happening with immigration in Europe to happen with us!"

Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged to support Italy in tackling mass migration from outside the European Union during a meeting with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Monday.

The rebel minister is leader of the Christian Social Union in Bavaria, whose parent party is Mrs Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

A CSU leadership meeting Monday in Munich is likely to authorize Seehofer to go ahead with his plan - but it's unclear at what point leaders want it to take effect.

Merkel welcomed compromise in the dispute, which has threatened to destabilise a coalition cobbled together just three months ago, and said her Christian Democrat (CDU) party would decide how to proceed after the two-week deadline elapsed. That banished - if only for now - the spectre of Seehofer pushing through his proposal in defiance of the chancellor, which would risk bringing down her government. The two parties govern with the center-left Social Democrats.

The spat over immigration has laid bare the deep tensions in a fractious German government that took office only in March, after almost six months of postelection haggling, and exposed the limits of Merkel's authority.

The CSU's top priority is a hard October state election in Bavaria in which it is trying to tamp down support for the anti-migration Alternative for Germany party.

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Migration "is a European challenge that needs a European answer", she said in her weekly video message Saturday. Germany's interior minister vowed to begin turning back migrants at the border by July if Angela Merkel fails to find solutions with European partners, but the chancellor rejected the threat.

But as the White House and its allies continue to make crime-based arguments in justifying tough policy stances as it relates to illegal immigration, multiple academic studies have not found any evidence that undocumented immigration increases crime. Germany's CSU is running scared because they have aligned themselves with a chancellor who is seen as not caring that her policies have allowed criminal aliens to run wild.

The CSU leadership agreed at a meeting in Munich to delay introducing their entry ban until after a June 28-29 European Union summit, allowing Merkel time to seek an EU-wide solution.

If the split over migration deepens and Merkel fires Seehofer, that could lead to a split in the CDU/CSU union which may in turn trigger a vote of no confidence and a possible end to Merkel's tenure.

Merkel's open-door migrant policy is widely blamed for the rise of the right-wing AfD, now the main opposition party in Germany's federal parliament.

Seehofer and Merkel have long had an awkward relationship.

Conte called on the European Union to change its position on migration and adapt current European Union asylum guidelines in favor of "a new approach that is more harmonious, so that whoever sets foot in Italy, sets foot in Europe".