Merkel would back cutting European Union tariffs on US auto imports

Germany's Merkel says migration deal is no about-turn

"The refugees who have been registered and have applied for asylum in Italy and Greece, but reach the Austrian border will be moved to transit centers and from there back to Rome and Athens", he said.

The comments in Vienna came after talks with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who backed the plan, saying that he hoped it could be resolved during his country's European Union presidency, which just began and lasts six months.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended on Wednesday a deal on tightening immigration controls from attacks directed by both her Social Democrat coalition partners and the far-right opposition.

Orban said that Germany should be grateful for the fence that Hungary has built on its borders with Serbia and Croatia, and which, according to him, is guarded 24 hours a day to 8,000 armed men.

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Merkel refused to close Germany's borders as the migrant influx peaked in 2015 but has since significantly toughened her stance.

Seehofer planned later on Thursday to hold talks in Vienna with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who has said his government would take measures to protect its southern borders - including with Italy where many migrants first set foot on European Union soil - if Germany proceeded with the transit zones.

The agreement between the Union and the SPD ended the weeks-long dispute over asylum policy that nearly toppled the German coalition government established in March.

Merkel's fateful decision in 2015 to leave the German border open to those fleeing Middle East conflict zones was prompted primarily by Orban's refusal to offer them refuge, effectively blocking the so-called Balkan route into the EU. German news weekly Der Spiegel said yesterday that the hard-fought compromise marked an "Orbanization" of Merkel's policies, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday she would back lowering European Union tariffs on US vehicle imports, responding to an offer from Washington to abandon threatened levies on European cars in return for concessions.

"It is nearly old-fashioned to only calculate goods and not include services", Merkel said.

Merkel said that "Germany is a reliable partner in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation".

Merkel's tone toward Orban has changed of late as well. "If Europe with its values and wants to continue to play a role in the world, then she can't just turn away from difficulties and suffering", she said. "We are fighting for a European solution". Germany also wants to reach bilateral deals with Greece and Italy so they take back asylum seekers.

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