BERLIN (Reuters) – The political future of German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in the hands of the Christian Social Union (CSU) on Sunday, when the leaders of the Bavarian party meet to decide if they accept the migratory deals that brought of Brussels.
Nine months after the elections that saw her lose votes to the extreme right, a weakened Merkel was forced to turn to the neighbors of the European Union to help resolve a conflict with their allies after they rebelled against their immigration policy.
The party leader, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, threatened to return the immigrants from the Bavarian border, a move that would almost certainly precipitate a collapse of the government.
At a summit in Brussels this week, leaders reached an agreement to voluntarily share refugees and create "controlled centers" within the European Union to process asylum applications.
Separately, Merkel announced agreements with 16 EU countries to return some refugees, and proposed the creation of reception centers where others will undergo an accelerated asylum procedure, in a hardening of the policy of open asylum that introduced in 2015.
Bavaria's premier Markus Soeder, aware of the regional elections in October in which he faces a tough challenge of the Anti-Migration Alternative for Germany (AfD), He took credit for pressing Merkel to reach an agreement.
"It's going absolutely in the right direction," he said, but added that he would maintain the pressure to get more clarity on the details.
Although most analysts expect Merkel to survive the confrontation with the CSU, it is unlikely to be the last time the sister party seeks to distance itself from a chancellor it considers too centrist for its own followers.
Underscoring the uncertainty over the agreement, Hungary, whose prime minister, Viktor Orban, has positioned itself as Merkel's enemy in the immigration debate that polarizes the continent, denied signing any agreement.
Although a document distributed by Merkel to its coalition partners said that Hungary was one of the 14 countries that had agreed "on a political level" to recover some immigrants who had passed through other EU countries on their way to Germany, He said the government had not signed such a deal.
The AfD, holding its party congress in Bavaria, where it hopes to obtain the votes of the CSU in October, tried to take advantage of the confusion.
"It will fall, no matter how much you shake your arms," he said, describing Brussels' offers as "a lot of hot air."
Report by Thomas Escritt; Edition by Robin Pomeroy