Hardline ministers in Austria, Germany and Italy want to form an “axis of the willing” to combat illegal immigration. Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced Wednesday in Berlin after talks with German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer.

Angela Merkel is trying to put together a deal for EU cooperation on placing asylum seekers but is locked in a feud with Seehofer that is threatening the stability of her coalition government. He has said that he and his Austrian and Italian counterparts, Herbert Kicks and Matteo Salvini have formed an alliance this week.

Their cooperation will extend to “issues of security and terrorism”. Kurz’s country assumes the EU’s rotating presidency on July 1st and he welcomes “good cooperation that we want to develop between Rome, Vienna and Berlin.”

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