Merkel prevents breakup of German government with immigration deal

Germany secures deal for return of failed asylum claimants: reports

Germany secures deal for return of failed asylum claimants: reports

Seehofer faces local elections in Bavaria and is competing with the Alternative for Germany (AfD) on a hardline position on migration.

As Merkel stuck to her guns during the crisis, and won key concessions from European Union partners on toughening migration rules, Seehofer and the CSU faced increasing pressure from all other parties.

"We can achieve a lot in a government, but not outside", Soeder said.

Mr Seehofer and Mrs Merkel have been at odds over Germany's approach to mass migration.

Merkel told journalists after the meeting that they had reached a deal and will create transit centres in the country from which migrants will be returned to countries they were in earlier.

Last week he threatened to turn back asylum seekers at Germany's borders unless Merkel reached an acceptable deal with other European Union countries, a move that has raised questions about the chancellor's political future. Instead, he reportedly offered to step down, a move that could have provided temporary respite for Merkel but might have meant the end of the decades-old CDU/CSU alliance and the coalition government.

If Seehofer does quit, the CSU could offer a replacement interior minister if it aims to remain tied to Merkel's CDU party.

The deep government crisis stems from Merkel's 2015 decision to keep borders open to asylum seekers arriving from the Middle East via the Balkans, Hungary and Austria.

Mr. Seehofer on Sunday rejected as insufficient an European Union plan to limit migrant flows backed by Ms. Merkel and her party.

Late Sunday saw Merkel's party, the Christian Democratic Union, pass a resolution supporting the German Chancellor's position on immigration.

According to Yahoo News, Merkel's coalition risked "breaking apart" Monday as leaders from multiple political parties huddled to reach a last-minute agreement regarding the Chancellor's "open doors" policy.

Tense intra-party talks took place at the German parliament in Berlin throughout the day.

While Seehofer was the one who threatened to resign, he accused Merkel of trying to force him out. She said Greece and Spain had agreed to take back migrants stopped at the Bavarian-Austrian border who were shown to have entered their countries first, a commitment she hoped would assuage Mr. Seehofer's concerns.

This would have deprived Merkel of her narrow parliamentary majority and forced her to either seek a new coalition partner or call a second election within a year, after scoring poor results in last September's vote.

In separate statements, Merkel praised the "very good compromise" that she said spelt a European solution, while Seehofer withdrew a resignation threat and gloated that "it's worth fighting for your convictions".

The CSU, a sister party of Merkel's CDU, is due to decide whether the deals on migration Merkel brought home from a 28-29 June EU summit in Brussels are enough to satisfy the party, which is determined to secure a tougher immigration policy. "The sum of everything we have decided has the same effect [as national measures]", she said.

There are four opposition parties: the anti-migration and anti-establishment Alternative for Germany, which has 92 seats; the pro-business Free Democrats with 80; the hard-left Left Party with 69 and the Greens with 67.

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