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Austria, Germany, Italy form 'axis of willing' on migration

Austria, Germany, Italy form 'axis of willing' on migration

German Chancellor, Angela Merkel says, "I worked hard for a compromise, we struggled with it for a long time. and then afterwards the withdrawal, so to speak, via tweet, is of course sobering and a bit depressing".

It is also highly unusual for bilateral meetings to take place between government members of differing ranks, such as a leader and an interior minister, and the much-publicised episode contributed to making Merkel look increasingly isolated.

In particular, Merkel objects to a plan which would allow authorities to reject migrants who reach German borders, drawn by the country's prosperity and stability, if they have already registered in other European Union states to the south.

Saturday's picture was not the first awkward moment between Trump and Merkel, who makes no secret of her disagreement with the American leader's approach on trade, his rejection of the deal to limit Iran's nuclear program and his decision to take the United States out of the global Paris deal to fight climate change.

Out of all the official photos surfacing from the 2018 G7 Summit, there's one in particular posted on German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Instagram that's copping a lot of attention.

"Actually, we were just talking - the whole group - about something unrelated to everything, very friendly", Mr Trump said.

Seehofer's plan would represent a reversal of Merkel's open-door policy for migrants from 2015, which has already been scaled back.

"Asylum tourism must end".




Within Merkel's CDU party too, some are openly championing Seehofer's vision, including Saxony state premier Michael Kretschmer.

Merkel's handling of the migrant crisis - which saw more than 1.6 million people arrive in Germany, starting in 2014, and helped propel the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) into parliament - has come back to haunt her in the last few weeks.

European Union nations' failure to speak and act with one voice overseas is a "danger", Merkel warned, as is the fact "that we have no collective approach to the question of managing migration", vital if freedom of movement within Europe's borders is to be upheld. It also showed only 37 percent were satisfied or very satisfied with the work of Merkel's government so far.

Merkel's insistence on an EU-wide agreement has the backing for now of the third party in her coalition, the Social Democratic Party.

A majority of CDU lawmakers backed her, said party sources.

Several outlets, including German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle and Politico, translated parts of Merkel's remarks, which she made in a Sunday interview with German broadcaster ARD.

But demands from the populist and far-right leaning forces in Italy, Austria and elsewhere are complicating Merkel's push for European Union solidarity in dealing with immigration issues, an issue to be covered at a June 28-29 summit.