Germany calls for EU countries to take in refugees

German Chancellor Angela Merkel calls on European countries to provide asylum for refugees

Photo by: Reuters video
Photo by: Reuters video

Merkel calls on EU partners to help refugees

Updated Sep 8, 2015

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on other European Union states on Monday to help and take in more refugees seeking asylum, while police used pepper gas on refugees who escaped from a a reception centre at the Hugarian border.

Merkel, who described the image of more than 20,000 refugees finally making their way into Germany, by bus and on foot, as "breathtaking" said that the continuous flow of newcomers will "occupy and change" the country over the next few years. 

Although Germany was "a country willing to take people [refugees] in," it is now "time for the European Union to pull its weight" she added, after noting that Germany will provide extra accomodation for the 80,000 refugees expected to enter the country this year.  

Merkel, along with German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, repeated condemnation of EU countries who rejected a quota agreement for the refugees coming to Berlin, Paris and Brussels primarily from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

"What isn't acceptable in my view is that some people are saying this has nothing to do with them,,, This won't work in the long run. There will be consequences although we don't want that," Merkel said.

"This would be a dramatic political blow for Europe, but also a heavy economic blow, also for those countries that are saying they don't want to help now," Gabriel added.

Countries such as Poland have said that they are reaching their limits due to a wave of refugees escaping the Ukraine crisis entering the country while Slovakia said it was in favour of accepting only Christians.

Europe's largest country, Germany, has opened its doors to refugess, however, growing attacks on shelters have left asylums worried about thier saftey once again.

Merkel has attempted to ease tensions by assuring German citizens that the refugee crisis is manageable. 

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday is expected to reveal a new plan to distribute refugees among member states.

According to an EU source, the new proposal consists of Germany taking in more than 40,000 refugees while France takes in 30,000 from the 160,000 waiting to be relocated from Italy, Greece and Hungary which lie across the main routes into western Europe.

However, before the adoption of the new plan, as a matter of urgency France announced that it will take up to 1,000 refugees from Germany.

Britain also recently announced that it will accept 20,000 refugees from Syria over the next five years. 

The German Chancellor's governing coalition attending a high-level meeting agreed on taking more measures and speeding up preparations such as constructing shelters for asylum seekers.

The coalition agreement included adding more “safe” countries to the list of states the citizens of which will not be able to claim asylum. Serbia, Macedonia and Bosnia are already in the safe countries list, and Kosova, Albania and Montenegro will be added.

Refugees march on motorways

Close to 300 refugees on Monday broke free from a cordon surrounding a reception camp at Roszke - the first place refugees are taken in order to be registered located on Hungary’s border with Serbia - and headed down to Hungary’s capital Budapest, using the wrong side of the motorway.

Hungarian police escorts a group of migrants walking against the traffic on a motorway to Budapest, September 7, 2015

A scuffle broke out between the refugees and Hungarian police and pepper spray was used to stop them.

Following desperate stuggles, the refugees were taken back to the reception camp.

A similiar incident was seen in Denmark as 800 people entered the country from Germany. Police in South Denmark blocked off motorways as groups of refugess headed towards the border in hope of reaching Sweden.

"This is being done for the safety of the people who are walking along the motorway," said a local police officer.

Some refugees were taken to police stations after being convinced to register for asylum in Denmark. 

TRTWorld and agencies