European Union tries to assuage German, Italian concerns on migration

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"Everyone in the room knows that the CSU wants to copy the AfD programme via copy and paste to win over voters until the Sunday of the Bavarian election with a policy of mere announcements", he said.

At the centre of the tensions there is Mrs Merkel's widely criticised immigration programme, which brought more than a million refugees in the country in 2015.

The CSU, anxious about losing votes to a new right-wing party in an October regional election, wants a ban on admitting asylum seekers into Germany who have already registered in another European Union country.

"This is not about buying time", Seehofer said of the agreement reached with the chancellor.

She suggested developing new formats, such as an "EU Security Council", and argued that in future decisions on foreign and security policy should be taken by majority vote, in order to increase the speed and effectiveness of the EU's decision making.

In her weekly video message Saturday, Merkel named migration as one of four major challenges to be addressed by German and French leaders when she meets Macron in Germany on Tuesday along with ministers from both governments.

In this Wednesday, June 13, 2018 photo, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, talks to Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, left, prior to the weekly cabinet meeting at the chancellery in Berlin.

Trump chimed into the debate with a Twitter taunt Monday, charging that "the people of Germany are turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the already tenuous Berlin coalition".

Merkel said she would seek agreement with European nations at a June 28-29 EU summit, but stressed there was "no automatism" about rejecting asylum seekers if no deals are reached.

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On common defence, Merkel has said she is "favourable" to Macron's demand for a rapid reaction force dubbed the European Intervention Initiative.

There is even talk that the 70-year-old conservative alliance between the CSU and Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) could fall apart.

Now Mr Seehofer has launched an ultimatum, saying he will leave the government unless the country adopts a stronger stance on immigration.

"(Trump's) zero-tolerance policy is cruel.

The plan foresees turning away asylum-seekers at Germany's border if they entered the European Union from another member state and first registered there.

At the weekend, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and his German counterpart Olaf Scholz met in Hamburg to try to resolve much of the nitty-gritty before Merkel and Macron meet.

"A new chapter opened for the Europe Union and for Franco-German cooperation today", Mrs Merkel said. To that end, it has given aid and money to countries including Turkey, Jordan, Libya and Niger.

"Make no mistake, the euro desperately needs revamping", Philippe Legrain, a former adviser to the European Commission president and a senior visiting fellow at the London School of Economics' European Institute wrote of the reforms. The European asylum authority Easo announced Monday in Brussels that a total of 222,560 applications was registered previous year with nearly a third of them (31 percent) in Germany.

Since peaking in 2015, the migrants' use of the Balkan route toward Western Europe has been impaired in part by Hungary's construction of razor-wire fences on its southern borders.

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