German Chancellor Angela Merkel greeting Parliamentary group leader of CDU/CSU Volker Kauder in the Bundestag German Lower House of Parliament on Thursday. Photo: NurPhoto via AFP

German Chancellor Angela Merkel got an agreement in principle from other European Union members to negotiate agreements to take back refugees who were first registered in other countries and then came to Germany, Die Welt reports.

Following the tentative deal, Merkel has delegated the task of negotiating country-specific agreements to her political antagonist Horst Seehofer. The German newspaper observes drily that Seehofer had made such agreements a condition for the end of his political confrontation with Merkel.

Seehofer, the leader of Merkel’s CDU party’s Bavarian sister party, the CSU, has spearheaded a challenge to Merkel’s immigration policy, threatening to close Germany’s borders if a deal wasn’t reached.

Despite Merkel’s success in making a first step toward resolving the political impasse, many expressed skepticism.

FDP leader Christian Lindner criticized the preliminary deal as “vague and unconcrete.”

“What is changing now, compared to the situation of the past two years, is unclear,” Linder said.

Die Welt’s reader poll at the conclusion of the article shows that 89% believe that there will be no comprehensive European agreement.

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