Monday 26 September 2016

'Fairer distribution' of refugees needed in Europe - Angela Merkel

Published 07/11/2015 | 15:40

People rush to secure a place onboard a train heading towards Serbia at the transit center for refugees near the southern Macedonian town of Gevgelija, on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)
People rush to secure a place onboard a train heading towards Serbia at the transit center for refugees near the southern Macedonian town of Gevgelija, on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)
A woman and children arrive at the transit center for refugees near the southern Macedonian town of Gevgelija, after crossing the border from Greece, early Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)
Police officers help families with children to board a train heading towards Serbia at the transit center for refugees near the southern Macedonian town of Gevgelija, on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)
A child cries as people wait to board a train heading towards Serbia at the transit center for refugees near the southern Macedonian town of Gevgelija, after crossing the border from Greece, on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)
Refugees and migrants arrive on a boat on the Greek island of Lesbos, November 7, 2015. Since the start of the year, over 590,000 people have crossed into Greece, the frontline of a massive westward population shift from war-ravaged Syria and beyond. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
A Syrian refugee woman holds a child as refugees and migrants arrive on a boat on the Greek island of Lesbos, November 7, 2015. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has underlined the need for "a fairer distribution in Europe" of refugees as EU leaders prepare to meet with their African counterparts to discuss the crisis.

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Germany has seen 758,000 asylum seekers arrive in the country between January and October.

Many other EU countries have been reluctant to take a significant number.

Ms Merkel said in her weekly video message: "We must speak again and again about the fact that the question of how we deal with refugees is a common question for all European member states." At least those that have signed up for the Schengen passport-free travel area, she added.

A woman and children arrive at the transit center for refugees near the southern Macedonian town of Gevgelija, after crossing the border from Greece, early Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)
A woman and children arrive at the transit center for refugees near the southern Macedonian town of Gevgelija, after crossing the border from Greece, early Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)

EU and African leaders will meet in Malta on Wednesday and Thursday.

Ms Merkel said Europe will discuss what countries it can conclude agreements with on taking back those whose asylum applications were rejected.

Police officers help families with children to board a train heading towards Serbia at the transit center for refugees near the southern Macedonian town of Gevgelija, on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)
Police officers help families with children to board a train heading towards Serbia at the transit center for refugees near the southern Macedonian town of Gevgelija, on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)

Meanwhile, Norway has launched a campaign to tell would-be refugees that the government is planning tighter immigration rules and they could be sent home if their asylum application is turned down.

A justice ministry spokesman said that the English-language Facebook page "chiefly targets people whose applications are manifestly unfounded". The page says that people who will not leave Norway voluntarily "will be returned by force".

A child cries as people wait to board a train heading towards Serbia at the transit center for refugees near the southern Macedonian town of Gevgelija, after crossing the border from Greece, on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)
A child cries as people wait to board a train heading towards Serbia at the transit center for refugees near the southern Macedonian town of Gevgelija, after crossing the border from Greece, on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)

Justice minister Anders Anundsen said the current centre-right government plans to reduce benefits for refugees up to 20% and introduce tighter immigration rules to stem the flow of asylum seekers to Norway.

Officials estimate that Norway, a nation of five million, will see up to 25,000 refugees this year, mainly from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Refugees and migrants arrive on a boat on the Greek island of Lesbos, November 7, 2015. Since the start of the year, over 590,000 people have crossed into Greece, the frontline of a massive westward population shift from war-ravaged Syria and beyond. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
Refugees and migrants arrive on a boat on the Greek island of Lesbos, November 7, 2015. Since the start of the year, over 590,000 people have crossed into Greece, the frontline of a massive westward population shift from war-ravaged Syria and beyond. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

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