Who and what are behind Germany's government crisis?

France Germany agree to set up eurozone budget Merkel

Citing unnamed sources from the CSU leadership, top-selling Bild reported that the party would agree to the plan, drawn up by her Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, from Bavaria, but delay its implementation until after an European Union summit on June 28-29.

In an editorial for German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), Seehofer said he hoped the European Union summit later this month would "finally reach agreements acknowledging Germany's [refugee] burden, ensure the effective protection of the EU's external borders, the fair distribution of people with the right to stay and the rapid deportation of those without". "We finally want to have a solution for the return of refugees at our borders which is fit for the future", he added.

But Seehofer, long one of the fiercest critics of Merkel's liberal refugee policy, said Germany must change direction on immigration.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's fourth-term government took almost six months to put together, taking office in March after the center-left Social Democrats reluctantly agreed to team up with her conservatives again.

She has meetings planned this week with the leaders of Italy and France, and an European Union summit is scheduled June 28-29.

Angela Merkel's leadership is under threat after her alliance partner gave her two weeks to agree to turn away refugees at Germany's borders.

"No one in the CSU has an interest in bringing down the chancellor, dissolving the CDU-CSU joint parliamentary group, or blowing up the coalition", Seehofer was quoted as telling the Bild am Sonntag newspaper. It was supposed to be put before the Cabinet last week, but Merkel refused to approve the point about turning back people at the borders.

Migration "is a European challenge that needs a European answer", she said in her weekly video message Saturday.

Her position as chancellor is now in question, but it remains unclear precisely how the situation will develop.

If the split over migration deepens and Merkel fires Seehofer, that could lead to a split in the CDU/CSU union which may in turn trigger a vote of no confidence and a possible end to Merkel's tenure.

He said he would go ahead with preparations to block some asylum-seekers at the border.

Growing numbers of leading CDU figures, most of whom do not want to see Merkel fall even if they prefer the CSU's tough stance on migrants, have called for a compromise. The two conservative parties govern Germany in a coalition with the centre-left Social Democrats. For the the Bavarian party, however, "the real dilemma they face is between accepting the bilateral deals Merkel brokers, or enforcing their plan unilaterally with the risk of Seehofer being fired".

In Brussels, the European Union asylum office said Monday the number of people applying for global protection in Europe plunged past year but remains higher than before 2015, when more than one million migrants entered, many fleeing the war in Syria.

In 2017, reported crime dropped by 5.1 percent compared to 2016.

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