Merkel still seeking European solution on migration: spokesman

28 June, 2018, 09:12 | Author: Diane Mills
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She said it had agreed that Europe's outer borders needed to be better protected to stop illegal entry and added that "all countries should share the burdens" related to migration.

As tensions rise between Rome and Paris as well as Rome and Berlin, the top-level talks are created to help clear the heavy air for a previously scheduled full summit of all European Union leaders on Thursday and Friday.

FILE PHOTO: A traffic sign is seen between Kiefersfelden and the Austrian city Kufstein, Germany June 21, 2018.

Finance Minister Olaf Scholz told broadcaster ZDF he thought the crisis could still be resolved.

The prime ministers of Denmark, Belgium and Luxembourg also backed the idea of outsourcing the effort to tame migration, although they emphasised the need to respect global law. Numerous leaders of those countries are on the frontline of the crisis, such as Italy and Greece.

Diplomats from France, Spain, Italy and Malta held intense talks about each country taking in people from Lifeline.

Merkel's ally in pursuit of European solidarity on migration, French President Emmanuel Macron, threatened non-compliers with economic sanctions ahead of the meeting, saying the EU can not have members, which "benefit hugely from EU solidarity and claim national self-interest when it comes to the issue of migrants".

Mr Seehofer said last week that Mrs Merkel had two weeks to reach an agreement with her European partners on immigration. The Financial Times on Wednesday reported that Greece was ready to cut such a deal.

Only once before has the party had to govern in coalition in Bavaria.

More news: Trump migrant policy: President orders MASS DEPORTATIONS immediately

The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) has long chanted "Merkel must go", but now her traditional allies the conservative Bavarian CSU are flirting with the same idea.

Only supporters of the far-right Alternative for Germany party mostly agreed with Seehofer's priorities, with 72 percent saying they thought there was now no topic more important than refugee policies.

The poll showed that the CSU has lost support in the region, with 40 percent of Bavarian respondents saying they would vote for the party - a drop of 7.7 percentage points compared to the 2013 regional election results.

Seehofer said Merkel would speak by telephone with the coalition partners after the European Union meetings on Friday, and he would speak with her again, possibly several times, on Saturday.

Merkel opposes the idea by the CSU as it would mean rigid border controls inside Schengen. Some think that could bring down her government and end her 12 years in power.

A breakup of the 70-year old alliance between the CDU and CSU would lead to a collapse of a coalition it took 6 months to negotiate and rob Merkel of a parliamentary majority.

Asked if he could soon leave government, Seehofer said, "There are situations in politics where one has a conviction, and then that conviction is more important than the office".

When someone has the right to protection and asylum, we should grant it."A failure to find agreement could threaten the EU's border-free travel area, one of the biggest accomplishments of the bloc's 60-year history.Despite the different perspectives, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said, "progress is possible on Thursday."Encouraged by a deal with Turkey that has slashed the number of people arriving from there by 97 percent since 2015, the European Union appeared ready to greenlight plans to set up screening centers in Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Niger and Tunisia.Plans to set up migrant reception centers in Albania are also under discussion".

With an agreement appearing elusive, Germany says it is now pushing for "bilateral, trilateral and multilateral" deals.

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