Merkel was confronted with an open rebellion by her hardline Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, long a fierce critic of her liberal stance on refugees who wants to toughen border controls.

After late-night talks between them failed to resolve the dispute, a parliamentary session Thursday was suspended to allow the rival camps – Merkel’s CDU and its traditional sister party from Bavaria, Seehofer’s CSU – to each huddle for strategy talks.

Seehofer has demanded as part of a new “migration masterplan” that German border police be given the right to turn back all asylum-seekers without identity papers and those who are already registered elsewhere in the European Union.

Merkel rejects the idea, fearing it would be seen in the EU as Germany going it alone and that it would hurt over-burdened frontline Mediterranean countries such as Italy and Greece.