Chancellor Merkel: Closing the borders is not a solution to the overall issue

10 March 2016
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel criticized the shutdown of borders along the Western Balkan route yesterday, in a campaign speech in the Rhineland-Palatinate state arguing that closing the borders “is not a solution to the overall issue”.

Mrs. Merkel took a differing stance from that of European Council President Donald Tusk, who had earlier congratulated the countries that closed their borders and welcomed such actions which comply with “common EU28 decision”, as he said.

Closing the borders “is not a solution to the overall issue,” Mrs. Merkel said, adding that fewer migrants may be requesting asylum in Germany but this meant the proliferation of refugees trapped in Greece. “The 27 countries cannot rest on their laurels and let a country deal with the problem by itself,” she stated referring to the EU block and Greece, respectively, adding that the solution required a balanced European plan.

In statements published on central Germany’s radio website (MDR info), Merkel said that a solution should be helpful to all 28 EU member-states, while the redistribution of refugees among EU countries is not a decision of the Turkish government, but must involve the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

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