Merkel to attend allies' conference amid debate on migration cap

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was scheduled to appear at a party conference of her Bavarian allies on Wednesday amid mounting tensions within her conservative bloc over a proposed cap on the number of migrants to enter Germany over the course of 2016.

Merkel headed to the southern Bavarian resort of Wildbad Kreuth on Wednesday to attend the annual conference of the Christian Social Union (CSU) - her Christian Democrats' sister party and an important ally in her coalition.

The chancellor has repeatedly butted heads with CSU leader and Bavarian premier Horst Seehofer over his proposal to allow a maximum of 200,000 migrants to enter Germany in 2016 - less than a fifth of the number that arrived the previous year.

Seehofer and other members of his arch-conservative party have insisted the cap is necessary to alleviate the burden on the public purse and ensure successful integration.

Bavaria's authorities and infrastructure have been particularly hard-hit by the mass migration influx, with the vast majority of the 1.1 million refugees recorded in 2015 entering Germany through the state's southern border.

The CSU is hoping for a compromise on Seehofer's proposal, but Merkel is not expected to budge from her earlier explicit rejections of the cap.

British Prime Minister David Cameron is also set to attend the conference on Wednesday. His Conservatives and the CSU have a common interest in reforming the relationship between the European Union and its member states.

Last update: Wed, 06/01/2016 - 13:13
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