Berlin – German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Party appeared willing to compromise in a bitter dispute over asylum policy on Thursday.
She suggested that police could be given new powers to turn away previously rejected asylum seekers at the country’s borders.
The Christian Democrats’ (CDU) proposal came in response to a suggestion by the Christian Social Union (CSU), allies in Merkel’s conservative bloc who have however frequently urged her to get tougher on migration.
The CSU had offered to back Merkel in her efforts to push for reform at the European level, if she let police at German borders turn away asylum seekers registered elsewhere in Europe.
Her counter-offer to reject people who had already unsuccessfully tried to enter Germany was seen as a possible compromise.
Merkel fears that EU states could undermine solidarity within the bloc by making unilateral decisions on asylum rules.
Any moves to heavily police Germany’s border could also create problems with neighbouring Austria, which would bear responsibility for the majority of rejected migrants.
Instead, Merkel is pushing for a joint European plan to be made at an EU summit later this month.