Austria ready to act at borders if Germany moves on migrants

Austria ready to act at borders if Germany moves on migrants

Austria ready to act at borders if Germany moves on migrants

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has dropped his threat to resign after a compromise was reached in a migration dispute that threatened Merkel's government.

If the agreement reached yesterday evening is approved by the German government as a whole, "we will be obliged to take measures to avoid disadvantages for Austria and its people", the Austrian government said in a statement.

The deal Ms Merkel made with Mr Seehofer still has to be agreed by her main coalition partner, the Social Democrats (SPD).

Germany's constitution prevents federal ministers from outright quitting their positions, and must request to be dismissed by the German President.

The leader of Angela Merkel's Bavarian allies, the CSU, offered to step down from his ministerial role and party leadership during a fiery closed-door meeting on Sunday ( 1 July).

Migrants would be held in new detention centres, with those found to have first-entered the European Union in, for instance, Italy, turned back "on the basis of an agreement with the Republic of Austria".

Following the news of Seehofer's resignation, the CDU has immediately stressed its support for Merkel's European solution in asylum policy.

He could defy her orders by ordering border police to carry out his plan, which would force her to fire him and nearly certainly break up the CDU-CSU alliance, or he could accept a humiliating climbdown or resign.

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Mrs Merkel got backing from both parties at a parliamentary meeting on Monday. He's called for Germany to turn away migrants who have already been denied asylum in Germany or have previously sought asylum elsewhere in Europe.

Merkel, who has been in office since 2005, warned last week the issue of migration could decide the very future of the European Union itself.

They argued such zones would not limit the number of migrants given that most were fleeing wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan and therefore entitled to asylum in Germany.

The chancellor's frantic last-minute diplomacy was ultimately prompted by the CSU's fear of losing its cherished absolute majority in Bavaria's state parliament.

Some Social Democrats accuse the CSU of wanting to appear tough on immigration before a regional election in Bavaria in October where the conservatives are expected to lose voters to the anti-immigrant party Alternative for Germany.

The "Union" of CDU and CSU have blended the southern state's beer-and-lederhosen-infused conservatism with more moderate politics, forming a centre-right force that dominated Germany for decades.

Nevertheless, the anti-refugee, anti-Islam Alternative for Germany (AfD) entered parliament for the first time past year, leading to months of paralysis while Merkel struggled to put together a workable coalition.

Austria is ready to impose new controls but is waiting to see if Germany goes ahead with the proposed new measures on its border, Herbert Kickl, the Austrian interior minister said.

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