Austria to 'protect' borders after German migrant deal

German coalition teeters as minister offers to resign over migrants

He said the two conservative parties in the governing coalition had agreed on how to prevent illegal migration across the border from Austria.

"Austria and in particular Salzburg can and must in no case become a "waiting area" for migrants", said Wilfried Haslauer, the conservative governor of Salzburg province, which borders Germany.

Last November, when Merkel was negotiating her fourth coalition, the long-time chancellor told German broadcaster ZDF she was "very sceptical" about leading a minority government and would rather call new elections.

A position paper by the Austrian chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, and his deputy, Heinz-Christian Strache, of the far-right Freedom party, quoted in Austrian media on Tuesday, said: "Should this agreement form the position of the German government, then we will see ourselves forced to take actions to avoid disadvantages for Austria and its population". He wants migrants turned back at the German border if they are already registered in another European Union country.

After the Bavarians' relentless pressure on Merkel, European leaders on Friday agreed to new measures to reduce immigration to the bloc and so-called "secondary migration" of asylum-seekers between countries.

As the CDU and CSU parties hunkered down in Berlin and Munich, leaders on both sides sought to clarify what was a stake. It has once again proved to be worth fighting to a conviction.

"We [the EU] should enter a phase of cooperation", Italian foreign minister Enrico Moavero Milanesi said.

Those who are rejected could be sent back to their European Union arrival country if that state agrees, says the joint CDU/CSU plan.

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Opinion polls suggest that, in the event of a fresh election, the SPD would not profit from the CDU-CSU rift over migration. Its leader, Andrea Nahles, said the party will closely examine the agreement. Apparently, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) is unwilling to accommodate these needs of the CSU.

After half a year of coalition building, Seehofer, having been ousted by ambitious rival Markus Soeder as Bavarian state premier, returned to Berlin, where he previously held ministerial posts, to rejoin Merkel's cabinet.

In a sign of mounting frustration, Seehofer reportedly told CSU colleagues that he "travelled especially to Berlin but the chancellor is moving zero point zero" per cent with her stance.

Senior CSU figures, including Mr Dobrindt, immediately tried to persuade Mr Seehofer not to quit. Seehofer seemed certain to walk away from the government after Merkel failed to compromise on her strong open-borders convictions, however, an agreement to tighten borders has reportedly been struck. His ultimatum forced Ms. Merkel to seek a European Union mini-summit the previous weekend and diverted the scheduled European Union summit this past weekend to an all-night crisis meeting on the migration issue.

Merkel needed to make a deal in order to stay in power.

"The blame game between CDU and CSU must end, because it is irresponsible", she said.

However, Italy - where most irregular migrants arrive - does not want to take back migrants who reach Germany.

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