German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer Offers to Resign Over Germany’s Asylum Policy

Party sources said Sunday evening that German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer had offered his resignation both from the cabinet and as CSU leader after unexpectedly re-escalating his standoff with Chancellor Angela Merkel over Germany’s asylum policy.

But according to reports from a crunch leadership meeting in Munich that stretched into early Monday morning, other senior party figures had tried to dissuade Seehofer from stepping down. A press conference that had been expected all evening was eventually postponed, before Seehofer appeared briefly before reporters to confirm that he had offered to resign, but that he was going to seek one more talk with Merkel on Monday about asylum policy before deciding on his future.

“In the interests of this country and the capacity of this government, which we want to maintain, we want to make an attempt to find an agreement on this central question of turning people away [at the German border],” he said. “Everything else will be decided afterwards.”

Seehofer, leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister party to Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), had said earlier that his meeting with the chancellor on Saturday had “not had any effect” on their conflict.

This was a direct contradiction of Merkel’s account of the meeting, which she delivered in an interview with public broadcaster ZDF on Sunday. “The sum of everything we have decided has the same effect [as national measures],” she said. “That is my personal conclusion. Of course, the CSU will have to decide that for itself.”

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SOURCE: Deutsche Welle