Merkel's government frays as migrant row festers in Germany

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks with IMF chief Christine Lagarde next to German Chancellor Angela Merkel | Ludovic Marin  AFP via Getty Images

Amidst the surprise announcement by the European Central Bank to detail its QE exit and alter its rate guidance, a report had surfaced that the German coalition that took 6 months to form could be on the brink of collapse with Bavarian sister party CSU threatening to break away due to different opinions over immigration policy.

The CSU has said it is not prepared to wait for two weeks.

Seehofer, of the Bavarian conservative CSU party, has put himself on a collision course with Merkel by proposing, as part of a national "migrant masterplan", that Germany ould turn away at the border migrants registered in other European Union states.

Other members of Merkel's government turned to name-calling Friday, with Andrea Nahles, the leader of Germany's center-left Social Democrats, accusing Soeder of "behaving like a bonsai Trump".

Her open-door policy has received intense backlash and is often credited for the rise of Alternative for Germany, a far-right, anti-immigrant party.

As a compromise, the CDU proposes turning away at the border migrants who have already applied for asylum and been rejected. His plan would allow police to turn away migrants who have already sought asylum in another European Union nation. "We have to listen to the people", he told mass-circulation daily Bild. An ARD poll on Thursday found that 62 percent of Germans believe refugees without papers should not be allowed in.

Merkel's coalition partner Social Democratic Party (SPD) had always been critical of plans to increase the country's defense budget, and disputed NATO's goal that each member should spend 2 percent of its national output on defense.

If it does come down to a straight power stand-off between the two party leaders, and Merkel simply overrules Seehofer, then the interior minister's resignation (or his sacking) would seem to be the next inevitable step.

Amid the chaos, the SPD's Finance Minister Olaf Scholz called for cool heads to prevail, tweeting that "the task of governing our country is serious and not an episode of Game of Thrones".

The ruling coalition with the Social Democrats (SPD) has 399 seats, but without the CSU that would fall to 353 - less than a majority. "All those involved should never forget this".

Hans Michelbach, deputy head of the CSU faction in the federal parliament, said the report was "rubbish", stressing the CSU wanted to maintain its alliance with the CDU and preserve the coalition.

The CSU fears anti-immigration sentiment could bring to an end its decades-old domination of Bavaria's government.

If Seehofer pushes ahead with the plan under his authority as interior minister, Merkel could be forced to dismiss him, further fraying the coalition but potentially helping the CSU in its regional battle with the AfD.

In theory, that could lead to a situation where people are rejected and bounced from country-to-country in the European Union, and Merkel is loath to test European unity by piling more pressure on the likes Greece and Italy, who have borne the brunt of refugee arrivals.

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