BERLIN — Angela Merkel’s position as German chancellor became more precarious on Sunday after her interior minister rejected a European deal on limiting immigration as insufficient, threatening her government.
In a closed-door meeting with leaders of his Christian Social Union, Horst Seehofer, who is also the party’s chairman, said the agreement wouldn’t reduce immigration to Germany, according to a party official, casting doubt over the future of the German government.
Seehofer had handed Merkel an ultimatum two weeks ago: Find a European deal that stops migrants with asylum applications in other EU countries from entering Germany or he would instruct police to start turning back such migrants at the border. Merkel had signaled that she would see such a move, which she opposes, as insubordination.
The wide-ranging EU deal, which Merkel championed and which drew plaudits from some senior CSU politicians, had raised expectations in Germany that Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and the CSU could bury the hatchet on Sunday as leaders of the two parties met in the afternoon to review the agreement. But a CSU official told The Wall Street Journal that Seehofer, addressing senior party colleagues in Munich on Sunday, had labeled Friday’s deal as insufficient and not meeting the conditions he had set to postpone his proposed closure of Germany’s borders.
Also popular on WSJ.com: