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Bavarians confront Merkel in German migrant policy showdown

Bavarians confront Merkel in German migrant policy showdown

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and G7 leaders Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May, France's President Emmanuel Macron, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US President Donald Trump discuss the joint statement following a breakfast meeting on the second day of the G7 meeting.

But the interior minister was refusing to back down over the issue, leading to fears of a power struggle within the government.

The minister, who is expected to soon present a "migration master plan" to the German parliament, said: "From my point of view, it would be ideal to secure the external borders of the European Union".

Merkel's party signaled Thursday that they may be edging toward a solution, saying in a statement that people whose asylum applications have already been rejected by Germany should be turned away if they try to re-enter.

The standoff has reignited a dispute that erupted in 2015 when Ms. Merkel opened the country's borders to hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers, some of whom had become stranded in Eastern Europe. He was a leading critic of her welcoming stance in 2015 and has been taking an increasingly hard line ahead of Bavarian state elections this fall.

With 1.6 million migrants arriving in Germany since 2014, her open-door policy has been widely blamed for a surge in support for the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD). Anti-immigration movements are now in or leading governments in countries including Italy, Austria and Hungary.

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Tensions on the right wing of Merkel's CDU have also been growing, and there are signs that support for her within the party has dwindled over the issue. Turning back migrants at the border, she said this week, would only add pressure to neighboring countries such as Italy and Greece.

Many saw a distillation of a crisis of the West in the photograph, and a revival of the debate launched by USA and British media after Trump's 2016 election whether Merkel was the new "leader of the free world". Eastern European EU countries also object to a proposal under which migrants would be resettled around the bloc under a quota system. Germany now allows such migrants into the country as their cases are reviewed.

The SPD and opposition politicians have accused Seehofer, a former leader of Bavaria, where the majority of refugees have entered Germany, of putting the interests of his southern state before European Union cohesion.

After late-night talks between them failed to resolve the dispute, a parliamentary session Thursday was suspended to allow the rival camps - Merkel's CDU and its traditional sister party from Bavaria, Seehofer's CSU - to each huddle for strategy talks.

That has been postponed, but Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) and Seehofer's Christian Social Union (CSU) hope to find a compromise on the plan this week, Seehofer said.

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Spain answered the call , opening the port of Valencia to the vessel, Lucia Benavides reports for NPR from Barcelona. On Monday new president of Spanish Government, socialist Pedro Sanchez , offered option Valencia.