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Leaders of Germany, Hungary trade barbs on migration

09 July, 2018, 03:31 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • The German border in Bavaria

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Interior Minister Horst Seehofer struck a migration deal.

"If the talks with Greece and Italy fail, we will have to think again about measures", Seehofer said.

The comments in Vienna came after talks with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who backed the plan, saying that he hoped it could be resolved during his country's European Union presidency, which just began and lasts six months.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives for a coalition meeting with the CSU and the SPD parties at the Reichstag in Berlin, Germany, July 5, 2018.

"It is in the interest not only of Italy, but also Austria and Germany, if the migration pressure on this route is less", Mr Kurz said. Germany's government earlier came up with a similar plan to curb the flow of asylum-seekers.

Undocumented migrants at the German border with Austria who have travelled to Europe via Greece or Italy must be returned to either Athens and Rome accordingly, German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said on Thursday following talks with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz in Vienna.

"So there are a number of issues that we would like to discuss here also bilaterally, a number of substantive issues".

"The initial, much-criticised Hungarian resistance", as well as the "persistent unity" of Central European states against migrants, and a recently declared Austrian-Italian-Bavarian "axis" on border policy "have together decisively turned the EU debate on the refugee issue in a different direction".

Under pressure from the CSU, Merkel has been scrambling to get an EU-wide solution, fearing that there will be a domino effect if Germany takes unilateral action, leading to border closures across central Europe and unravelling the EU's border-free travel zone, imposing costs on people and businesses.

Full implementation would require signing deals with Italy and other countries that have been unwilling to take back migrants. Such a move, it said, could address Mr Trump's complaint that the USA sector is unfairly treated, while reducing export costs for other participating countries' auto sectors.

The centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), who must endorse the plan for it to go ahead, have voiced concern that the transit centres could amount to internment facilities for refugees that would violate their civil liberties.

Now the numbers of such migrants arriving at Bavaria's border with Austria are 10 or fewer daily, the German government says.

The bilateral agreements with other European Union countries aren't exactly flooding in.

"But how we get there I can not assess", he said.

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