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Migration row: Merkel’s minister offers to quit, political crisis ensues

Reuters BERLIN | Updated on July 02, 2018

Rift wide open: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and German Interior minister Horst Seehofer attend an event in Berlin, Germany, June 20 2018.   -  REUTERS

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday will make a last-ditch effort to end a migration row with her conservative allies by holding more talks with her interior minister, whose offer to resign cast doubt over whether her fragile government can survive.

Horst Seehofer offered to quit his ministerial post and the chairmanship of the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) at a marathon party meeting on Sunday to discuss whether immigration proposals Merkel brought back from Brussels last week were acceptable.

But he was then persuaded by party colleagues to have one more meeting with Merkel on Monday to try to resolve the long-standing row and said he would make his final decision within three days.

Merkel’s CDU relies on the CSU to maintain power through a coalition, also including the Social Democrats (SPD), formed three months ago after an election in September.

Germany’s political crisis is the latest sign of a growing divide across the EU between those who want to maintain open borders and those who want to restrict the number of migrants entering the bloc.

The ructions in Berlin were putting pressure on the euro early on Monday while Germany's top share index opened more than one percent lower.

Published on July 02, 2018

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