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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-03-09

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] German Chancellor Merkel: Western Balkan border shutdowns "is not a solution" to migrant flows

  • [01] German Chancellor Merkel: Western Balkan border shutdowns "is not a solution" to migrant flows

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel criticised the shutdown of borders along the Western Balkan route yesterday, in a campaign speech in the Rhineland-Palatinate state where she took a differing stance from that of European Council President Donald Tusk, who had earlier welcomed the shutdowns in his tweeter statements.

    Earlier in the day, Tusk had sent two messages through Twitter, "I thank Western Balkan countries for implementing part of EU's comprehensive strategy to deal with migration crisis," and "Irregular flows of migrants along Western Balkans route have come to an end. Not a question of unilateral actions but common EU28 decision."

    In comments reproduced by the e-edition of Der Tagesspiegel newspaper, Merkel commented that the measures Balkan countries take will not be viable without support by a larger plan to the migrant crisis coming from the European Union.

    Closing the borders "is not a solution to the overall issue," she 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 said, referring to the EU block and Greece, respectively, adding that the solution required a balanced European plan.

    In statements published on the internet page of central Germany's radio (MDR info), Merkel stated 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.

    Responding to Tusk's tweets, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said that "the Balkan route shut down because of unilateral acts by countries of the Western Balkans," and underlined that "we expect Tusk, as president of EU28, to focus his efforts on the implementation of joint decisions, rather than encouraging those who scorn them."


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