Merkel, allies avert collision for now in German migrant row

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The announcement from German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron came after a meeting in Berlin to coordinate the two major powers' positions on the future of the European Union ahead of next week's EU summit.

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. "Ms. Merkel is insisting that Germany abide by a pan-European solution while her partners are pressing for a German only policy response", said Boris Schlossberg, managing director of FX strategy at BK Asset Management.

Her interior minister, Horst Seehofer, has been calling for Germany to turn back migrants at the border who have previously applied for asylum or registered as asylum-seekers in other European countries.

The Merkel party, Christian Democratic Union, CDU, and Seehofer, Christian Social Union, CSU, are twinned formations for decades and toger y form conservative bloc that shares government in Berlin with Social Democrats. Still, polls suggest that its absolute majority in the Bavarian state legislature is in danger in the October 14 state election - and it is being challenged on the right by the far-right, anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany party.

Merkel now faces a risky mutiny from her hardline Bavarian Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, who has vowed to defy her and order police to shut German borders to most asylum seekers by early July absent an European Union accord.

If no agreements are reached, the idea is for Germany then to begin turning back migrants.

United States president said German officials 'do not want to report these crimes'. Her demise would likely further bolster authoritarian governments in eastern Europe, undermine the new Spanish government's humanitarian stance on migration and put at risk Macron's plans for euro-area reform.

Merkel said the common tax system would also help both countries shore up their competitiveness in the face of a potential trade war unleashed by US President Donald Trump.

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"We're hoping to obtain a maximum of agreements on Tuesday, and in late June", a source in the French presidency told AFP.

In a tweet Tuesday morning, the president accused the government of Germany of concealing the truth of the crime rate in the country since accepting a surge of migrants into the country in recent years.

The spat over immigration has laid bare the deep tensions in a fractious German government that took office only in March, after almost six months of postelection haggling, and exposed the limits of Merkel's authority.

If Seehofer decides to go it alone, Merkel would have to fire him, sparking an unprecedented CDU-CSU split, political scientist Heinrich Oberreuter told business daily Handelsblatt.

Most first arrived in Bavaria, which borders Austria.

Merkel and Macron agree that overburdened Mediterranean countries need financial support or incentives, and that the EU's Frontex border force must receive more funding, while Paris also advocates the creation of asylum processing centres in Africa.

The office said 728,470 application requests were made for worldwide protection in 2017, compared to nearly 1.3 million applications the previous year. More than 1 million migrants came to Germany in 2015 and 2016, though numbers have since dropped sharply.

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