Tuesday 24 April 2018

Merkel 'does not want to solve migration crisis with threats'

Angela Merkel
Angela Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she does not favour threatening other European Union nations in the migration crisis.

Her remarks come after German interior minister raised the idea of cutting EU funding to those nations that do not take in refugees.

Ms Merkel said, after meeting Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann, that "we must try to restore a European spirit".

She added: "I don't think that threats are the right way to an agreement."

Ms Merkel and Mr Faymann insisted anew that the crisis is an issue for the whole EU.

Mr Faymann said: "Many countries are sticking their heads in the sand and hoping that the problem will pass them by because Germany, Austria and Sweden have signalled a different humanitarian position."

He added: "Trampling on the right to asylum is not an alternative in our community of values."

Ms Merkel also rejected the notion that Germany encouraged yet more migrants to set off toward Europe by sending welcoming signals to refugees.

The German Chancellor said that the images that went around the world were not of her but of ordinary Germans welcoming people to stations in Munich and elsewhere earlier this month.

She said: "The world said that was a nice gesture, and that came from people's hearts."

Ms Merkel added: "If we start having to apologise for showing a friendly face in emergencies, then that isn't my country."

She said that the decision to let in migrants who had piled up in Hungary was right, but it was also natural then to consider how to manage the situation to ensure proper registration of newcomers.

Press Association

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