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Germany’s Merkel Agrees to Migrant Cap in Pursuit of Coalition

  • VOA News

German Chancellor Angela Merkel of the Christian Democrats delivers a speech during a meeting oh her party's youth wing in Dresden, Germany, Oct. 7, 2017.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) have reportedly reached a deal with Bavarian conservatives on a refugee cap as both sides look to unite ahead of talks on forming a new government.

Merkel and the head of the Christian Social Union (CSU), Horst Seehofer, plan to spell out the details of the deal Monday.

Reports say the number of refugees to be allowed into Germany would be capped at about 200,000 per year. Merkel has, until now, rejected limits. She has said they would violate the country’s constitution which grants anyone facing political persecution the right to seek asylum.

Under the deal, asylum seekers would not be turned away at the border until their cases are heard.

Both parties also agreed to do more to attract immigrants with highly-sought-after labor skills and also up the fight against human traffickers.

Bavaria comprises about 15 percent of Germany's population. Support from its CSU conservatives is vital as Merkel proceeds with talks on forming a new coalition government with the liberal Greens and pro-business Free Democrats.

Merkel won a fourth term as chancellor in last month's parliamentary election, but her Christian Democrats failed to win an outright majority.

The far-right Alternative for Germany party won a stunningly-high 94 of 709 seats in the Bundestag and could cause trouble for the moderately conservative Merkel.

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