Time is running out for the German Chancellor is desperately trying to find a European solution for the migration crisis as she is backed into the corner by her Interior Minister who has called for police to turn back migrants registered in other EU countries.
As she fights to cling on to her political career, a poll conducted by Emnid for the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, showed Angela Merkel’s bloc at 31 percent, down two percentage points from the previous poll.
The eurosceptic AfD added one percentage point to reach 16 percent, its highest rating in an Emnid poll.
The centre-left Social Democrats, junior partner in the ruling coalition, remained unchanged at 18 percent.
Mrs Merkel’s conservatives are embroiled in an internal dispute over whether to turn back migrants at the German border who have registered elsewhere in the European Union.
The issue has divided longtime conservative allies and poses the most serious challenge yet to Mrs Merkel’s leadership, raising questions about a possible collapse of her coalition a little more than 100 days after it took office.
Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, of the conservative Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU), which is preparing for regional elections in Bavaria in October, has threatened to defy Merkel’s wishes and order police to turn back asylum seekers unless she secures a broader EU deal on distributing migrants more evenly.
Leaders of 16 member states put on a united front in Brussels this afternoon for an emergency meeting, which failed to reach “concrete conclusions”.
With no solution on paper, tensions remain over how the EU should tackle the crisis, which threatens to tear the 27-member bloc apart.
And on arrival, Mrs Merkel looked to downplay her need for an European solution to migration as she stressed the need for “bilateral and trilateral agreements” and for member states to find “common ground”.
Ms Merkel has been given a two-week deadline to make an agreement with Mr Seehofer.
Volker Kauder, a member of Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) who leads the conservative bloc in parliament, expressed regret that some political leaders were questioning the future of the alliance, but said it was too soon to speak of its demise.
He told broadcaster ZDF: “The parliamentary group continues to exist and it is capable of acting,” as he said he still believed a solution could be found on the migration issue.
Emnid asked 2,336 people between June 14-20 which party they would support if a national election occurred now.