Merkel accepts CSU offer to delay ban on migrants: DPA

A fake tweet announcing the collapse of Germany's government

A fake tweet announcing the collapse of Germany's government

Conte called on the European Union to change its position on migration and adapt current European Union asylum guidelines in favour of "a new approach that is more harmonious, so that whoever sets foot in Italy, sets foot in Europe".

Merkel's own position as chancellor appeared to be threatened after her hardline interior minister and conservative ally, Horst Seehofer, called for Germany to start refusing some refugees at the German border.

The chancellor, who is scheduled to meet her French counterpart Emmanuel Macron next week, said Germany and France would seek to set the agenda for European Union cooperation on defense, security and foreign policy ahead of the June summit.

"The German government stands fully behind the Paris climate accord, because ambitious climate policies don't just help limit the worst consequences of climate change, they also offer chances for innovation and therefore growth and prosperity worldwide", she said.

For her part, Merkel has expressed optimism about her leadership and her ability to manage Germany through the tensions.

In his previous job as Bavarian governor, Seehofer was one of the leading critics of Merkel's decision in 2015 to leave Germany's borders open as migrants streamed across the Balkans.

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"We are opening a new chapter", Merkel said after the talks, which produced an eight-page declaration entitled: "Renewing Europe's promises of security and prosperity".

The new measures would be applied particularly to migrants, who either registered or applied for asylum in another European Union country, the interior minister said. Earlier, Merkel argued against the current proposal by saying Berlin can't unilaterally shut its borders. 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.

The arrival of more than a million asylum seekers to Germany since 2015 has deeply divided the country and propelled the far-right AfD into parliament for the first time in September's general election. Asked recently whether she and her party can continue to lead the country through to its 2021 mandate and whether she is in full control, she said: "Yes to both", according to ABC News. But "we want finally to have a sustainable solution for turning back refugees at our borders".

Several high profile crimes by migrants - including the 2016 Christmas market attack by a failed Tunisian asylum seeker as well as the recent rape-murder of a teenage girl allegedly by an Iraqi - have also helped to fuel anger.

"Turning away migrants at our borders at the heart of Europe will lead to negative domino effects that could hurt Germany and put into question European unity", she warned Monday.

On Tuesday, she will also meet French President Emmanuel Macron in Germany. Even with a sharp decline in the numbers crossing to Europe over the Mediterranean, migration has surged to the top of the political agenda, with the proliferation of unilateral measures fraying the bonds of European Union unity.

"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.

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