The Latest: Report: German minister hints at compromise

The Latest: Report: German minister hints at compromise
The Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) — The Latest on Germany and the debate over migration (all times local):

11:40 a.m.

German news agency dpa reports that Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has told his party he wants to proceed step-by-step in his plan to turn back some migrants at the country’s borders — hinting at a compromise in a dispute with Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Seehofer has been calling for Germany to turn back at its border migrants previously registered as asylum-seekers in other European countries. Merkel opposes unilateral action and wants time to discuss the issue with other European Union countries.

Citing unidentified participants, dpa reported that Seehofer told a leadership meeting of his Christian Social Union party on Monday in Munich that he wants to start by turning back people against whom authorities have issued a formal entry ban.

He says he wants to make preparations to turn back others, which would go into effect if no European agreements are reached.

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9:10 a.m.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Bavarian allies were expected Monday to decide how far to push in a dispute with the German leader over migration, a conflict that has escalated into a threat to her government.

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer is calling for Germany to turn back at its border migrants previously registered as asylum-seekers in other European countries. Merkel opposes unilateral action, arguing that it would weaken the 28-nation European Union.

Seehofer heads the Bavaria-only Christian Social Union, the sister party to Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union. The CSU is determined to show that it’s tough on migration as it faces a challenging October state election in Bavaria, and argues that that is the best way to cut support for the far-right Alternative for Germany.

A CSU leadership meeting Monday in Munich is likely to authorize Seehofer to go ahead with his plan — but it’s unclear at what point leaders want it to take effect. If Seehofer actually goes ahead and implements it unilaterally in defiance of Merkel, it could set off a chain of events that would bring down Germany’s coalition government.

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