Merkel slams Muslim migrant ban enforced by EU members, urges fair distribution
On Sunday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel slammed those countries in Europe who say they won't take in Muslim refugees, a position that several eastern European governments have taken in response to the influx of migrants from the Islamic world.
Berlin: On Sunday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel slammed those countries in Europe who say they won't take in Muslim refugees, a position that several eastern European governments have taken in response to the influx of migrants from the Islamic world.
Merkel said she was hopeful that European Union members would reach an agreement on outstanding questions arising from the migrant crisis, one of which is how to fairly distribute asylum-seekers among all the bloc's 28 member states.
She told German public broadcaster ARD that "everybody has to do their bit" and didn't rule out the possibility of
letting some countries take in fewer migrants if they contribute more financially instead.
"How the individual components are weighted will have to be seen," said Merkel. But she reiterated her stance that blocking refugees based on their religion was misguided.
"What I continue to think is wrong is that some say 'we generally don't want Muslims in our country, regardless of whether there's a humanitarian need or not,'" she said. "We're going to have to keep discussing that."
Her comments come almost a year after Merkel's decision to allow hundreds of thousands of migrants stuck in other European countries to come to Germany.
That move prompted a further wave of migration through the Balkans that culminated in the daily arrival of more than 10,000 asylum-seekers at German borders at one point.
Officials have spoken of more than a million arrivals in 2015, but Germany's top migration official said the actual figure was likely lower once duplicate registrations and people who traveled on to other countries are excluded.
Frank-Juergen Weise, the head of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, said in an interview in the German weekly Bild am Sonntag that he expects a sharp drop in numbers in 2016 compared with last year.
Weise told German weekly Bild am Sonntag that his agency is planning for between 250,000 and 300,000 new arrivals this year.
The influx prompted countries such as Hungary to sharply criticize Merkel, and even accuse her of threatening Europe's stability.
In Germany, anti-migrant feeling has increased too. A nationalist party to the right of Merkel's Christian Democrats has received a surge in support and chancellor, who has stuck by her motto "we will manage," has seen her popularity ratings fall.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
France stops ratification of extradition agreement with Hong Kong, says treaty to remain 'as it stands'
Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the US suspended similar treaties with Hong Kong last month after China imposed a new national security law on the city
US faces threats from foreign adversaries ahead of 3 November presidential polls, warn intel officials
Officials have said that Russia and China are actively seeking to weaken the US's global standing to undermine confidence in American democracy.
White House, Democrats at odds on virus aid as Republicans struggle to roll out $1 trillion coronavirus relief package
With the virus toll climbing, both parties are eager for a deal. There is widespread agreement that more money is needed for testing, to help schools re-open in the fall and to shore up businesses.