Austria's government has warned it could "take measures to protect" its borders after Germany planned restrictions on the entry of migrants as part of a deal to avert a political crisis in Berlin.

If the agreement reached yesterday evening is approved by the German government as a whole "we will be obliged to take measures to avoid disadvantages for Austria and its people," the Austrian government said in a statement.

It added it would be "ready to take measures to protect our southern borders in particular," those with Italy and Slovenia.

Under the deal migrants who have already applied for asylum in other European Union countries will be held in transit centres on the border while Germany negotiates bilateral deals for their return.

The transit centres, like 'airside' zones in international airports, will be regarded for immigration purposes as not being in Germany, making it easier to deport from them.


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Emerging after five hours of talks last night, Horst Seehofer, leader of Bavaria's Christian Social Union (CSU), told reporters he would remain in his post after a deal with Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) that he said would stem illegal immigration.

The deal, which brought Mrs Merkel's government to the brink of collapse just three months after it was formed, keeps her in office.

The compromise deal meant that Mr Seehofer was able to hail tighter immigration controls, while Mrs Merkel was able to say that Germany adhered to EU rules and upheld freedom of movement within the EU.