Merkel averts coalition crisis after compromise with CSU

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DW: Chancellor Angela Merkel and Bavarian conservative leader Horst Seehofer have reached a deal on migrant policy that could save the governing coalition.

After plenty of political twists and turns over the past few days and weeks, Chancellor Angela Merkel has achieved a last-ditch agreement to end the dispute between her conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU).

Following a final crisis meeting on Monday, after interior minister and CSU chairman Horst Seehofertendered his provisional resignation late Sunday evening, the Bavarian and Merkel achieved a breakthrough.

Merkel said Germany would be putting in place national “transit centers” to “order and steer secondary migration” — the movement of migrants within the EU. The chancellor said the deal would balance national and international approaches to the issue of how to control migration.

“As such the spirit of partnership in the European Union is preserved, and at the same time it’s an important step to order and control secondary migration,” she told reporters. “We have found a good compromise after tough negotiations and difficult days.”

Seehofer, who confirmed he would be staying on as interior minister, said he was “very satisfied” with the “clear deal” reached by Germany’s two conservative parties to “stem illegal migration.” He added that the transit centers would help speed up asylum decisions and, in negative cases, accelerate deportations.

The general secretaries of the two parties said the agreement would reduce migration to Germany and allow the country to quickly turn away people who have no chance of being granted asylum in the country.

The deal seems to have buried the issue of whether Germany would have the authority to turn away migrants at its national borders, a main point of disagreement between conservatives that had threatened to break apart the long-standing CDU-CSU parliamentary bloc.

 

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