German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer threatened to resign on Sunday over his dissatisfaction with the immigration deal Chancellor Angel Merkel brought home from a European Union summit Friday.
Seehofer is also head of Merkel’s coalition government ally, the Christian Social Union (CSU). Seehofer “wants to step down as party chairman and interior minister” as he enjoys “no support,” sources told a German news outlet.
Seehofer told his colleagues according to German media he had three options: to bow to Merkel on certain asylum policies, continue with his own tough border control policies, knowing the implications that would have for the party alliance, or resign all together.
Should he follow through with a resignation, it throws the future of Merkel’s coalition government into question as it’s unclear if the CSU would stay in coalition with Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU).
Seehofer was persuaded by his party colleagues to have another meeting with Merkel on Monday after hours of meetings on Sunday.
Germany and the EU as a whole have been facing political crises over how to handle the inflow of migrants and asylum seekers entering the EU, which was the main hurdle in the member states’ two day summit on June 26-27.
(RELATED: EU Reached Deal On Migration, Strengthens External Borders)
Seehofer gave Merkel a deadline of July 1 to return to Germany with a fitting immigration plan, but sources said he found the results of the summit to be “a conversation with no effect.”
A main point of contention for Seehofer is the issue of “secondary movements,” in which asylum seekers travel country to country seeking resettlement or protection. The CSU wants Merkel’s immigration plan to turn those already registered in another European country away at the border.
The EU conclusions from the summit last week included agreements over the secondary movements, which Merkel feels should satisfy Seehofer. Spain and Greece agreed to take back migrants stopped at the Bavarian-Austrian border who are proven to have entered their countries first.
The Social Democrats (SPD), also part of the coalition, are on Merkel’s side.
Merkel and Seehofer agreed to meet at 5 p.m. Berlin time on Monday in hopes of reaching an agreement.
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