Merkel to confront coalition critics at party conference

 Chancellor Angela Merkel is to attempt on Wednesday to quell a growing rebellion in her ruling coalition over her handling of the nation's refugee crisis when she confronts critics at a party conference in the Bavarian Alps.

Merkel's statement to the party conference of her conservative Christian Democrats' Bavarian-based Christian Social Union allies represents the second time in two weeks that the chancellor has addressed members of the CSU, which has spearheaded opposition to her stance on asylum.

Leading CSU members have again lashed out at Merkel ahead of her visit to the party's conference in the Bavarian winter resort of Wildbad Kreuth with the CSU stepping up demands for stemming the flow of refugees into Germany, which topped one million last year.

"We want a solution with you," said CSU chief and Bavarian Premier Horst Seehofer ahead of Merkel's visit with the refugee crisis having exposed a deep rift in her coalition.

With Bavaria having emerged as the frontline state in refugees entering Germany, the CSU has called on Merkel to restrict the numbers of asylum seekers arriving this year to 200 000.

But with Merkel strongly opposed to placing a limit on the number of new arrivals, CSU officials have indicated that they are not expecting the chancellor to initiate a quick change of course.

Underlining the tensions in Merkel's coalition over her refugee stance, 44 members of the CDU-CSU's combined 310-strong parliamentary bloc presented the chancellor with a letter on Tuesday warning her that the nation's resources had been stretched to the limit by the influx of refugees.

In their letter the lawmakers also urged Merkel to review the government's current immigration policy.

Last update: Wed, 20/01/2016 - 16:25
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