Merkel Opens Door to Diesel Lawsuits as Election Rival Attacks

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In Berlin, Chancellor Angela Merkel, who met Macron on Monday, endorsed the idea of a European Monetary Fund and said she could imagine creating a combined European finance and economy minister.

The issue of migration has played an only moderate role in the German election campaign and Merkel is widely expected to win a fourth term in next month's vote. Her conservative Christian Democrats are far ahead of the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) in latest opinion polls.

A leading candidate for the party, Alexander Gauland, drew fire this week after he insulted Merkel's integration minister, Aydan Ozoguz, over an op-ed she wrote questioning the nature of German culture.

"We say it clearly: There will be no coalition with the AfD", Merkel said in the eastern town of Bitterfeld-Wolfen as dozens of protesters among the audience booed and yelled "Get lost!" and "Merkel has to go!"

"That contradicts the spirit of Europe". The nationalist Alternative for Germany, or AfD, still appears set to enter parliament next month, but its poll showing has fallen well behind the levels it reached after almost 1 million migrants arrived in Germany in 2015.

Despite a political backlash, Mrs Merkel opened Germany's borders to people from across the world, allowing more than a million into the country.

Germany and Egypt have agreed on a plan to reduce the flow of refugees and asylum seekers to Europe, as part of Berlin's wider push to curb the stream of illegal and unchecked immigration to the European country, the refugees' ideal destination.

"It will take time and patience but we will succeed".

The chancellor said in an interview with public broadcaster ZDF on Sunday that she supports training Libya's coast guard to prevent migrants from risking their lives by trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea.

Turning to foreign policy, Merkel called on Turkey to release German citizens swept up in the aftermath of last year's failed coup attempt, calling their imprisonment "unjustified".

At least one reporter wanted to know why Merkel only appeared once a year for a major press conference on her own, accusing the chancellor of being more media shy than President Donald Trump or Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Merkel said it was important to more clearly differentiate between those fleeing poverty, who usually are not granted asylum, and those whose needs are humanitarian and usually do receive asylum protection. Merkel added that she would address the issue "in detail" with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker when he visits Germany on Wednesday.