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Merkel, Macron search for reforms to halt EU 'disintegration'

Merkel, Macron search for reforms to halt EU 'disintegration'

It threatens to topple the government and potentially end the political career of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its sister party CSU have suffered heavy losses in the country's federal elections past year, while the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) scored record gains and entered the parliament for the first time.

The CSU, which faces regional elections in October, fears it could be toppled from its decades-old perch atop the wealthy southern state by the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party if it does not tighten policy towards migrants.

Berlin is also reportedly preparing to call a meeting between Merkel and the leaders of several European Union frontline nations in the migrant crisis ahead of the Brussels summit. The Bavarian party wants to tighten rules governing the entry into Germany of migrants who are first registered in another European Union country and those rejected for asylum.

We don't want what is happening with immigration in Europe to happen with us!

"No one in the CSU has an interest in bringing down the chancellor, dissolving the CDU-CSU joint parliamentary group, or blowing up the coalition", Seehofer was quoted as telling the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

Seehofer's CSU party is due to meet Monday to decide which course to take.

The meeting came after months of back-channel discussions in which both sides tried to close the gap between their divergent visions for the European Union and the Eurozone, with both leaders making some concessions to the other.

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On migration, Merkel's insistence on finding common European solutions to reducing migrant numbers and other issues has met stiff resistance in her own conservative bloc, leading to a showdown over the last week with her interior minister who has insisted some categories of migrants should be turned away at Germany's borders.

But it is not granted she will be able to save her leadership with the help of the EU.

As outlined in his "migration master plan", Seehofer wants to refuse asylum access to German territory if they have already formally entered the Schengen zone via another country. "Where did the president get the statement that crime was way up in Germany under the Merkel plan for admitting refugees?".

In 2015, Merkel famously said Germany was open to people fleeing wars and looking for better lives.

The German government said no special EU summit is planned, and that would be a matter for EU leaders in Brussels, but "of course the German government is holding talks with various member states and the (EU) Commission" about immigration in Europe.

Merkel has said she is "favourable" to a French call to create a European Intervention Initiative of forces which could be deployed rapidly to deal with crises outside the framework of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Reuters reported that Merkel was asked about Trump's inaccurate claim during a news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron.


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