Merkel criticises Europeans behind closed doors

Angela Merkel lashes out at East European governments who refuse to take in refugees and accuses them of not considering their own history, advises them to take action towards helping to solve refugee crisis

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Oct 9, 2015

German Chancellor Angela Merkel criticised European governments at a closed-door meeting with legislators of the centre-right European People's Party accusing them of being prejudiced and forgetting their own past before she and Hollande’s joint speech to the European Parliament on Wednesday, according to media reports.

Merkel condemned the reaction of Czech, Slovak, Hungarian and some Baltic leaders to Europe’s refugee crisis, without giving direct mention of any countries, she noted that they too lived behind the fences once, so they should know better.

"We eastern Europeans — I’m counting myself as an eastern European — we have seen that isolation doesn’t help," Merkel was quoted as saying.

"The refugees won’t be stopped if we just build fences … and I’ve lived behind a fence for long enough," said Merkel.

"Those who can consider themselves lucky that they have lived to see the end of the Cold War now think that one can completely stay out of certain developments of globalization. It just strikes me as somehow very weird."

In reference to her comment, Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban and centre-left Slovak PM Robert Fico rounded on Merkel concerning the matter of opening the borders of Germany to refugees, they said that she opened way to a problem of an overflow of refugees that Europe cannot handle and that this is a threat to their “Christian values.”

Merkel objected to their allegations saying "It’s not acceptable that we have free movement of goods and of people, but that some countries say 'this we can't do, and that we can't, and we can't take in Syrians, because we’re not ready yet.''

"When someone says: ‘This is not my Europe, I won’t accept Muslims’ … I have to say, this is not negotiable," said Merkel, according to media reports.

"Who are we to defend Christians around the world if we say we won’t accept a Muslim or a mosque in our country? That won’t do." she added.

On the other hand, Merkel and French President Francois Hollande jointly addressed the European Parliament which was the first such mutual speech since the fall of the Berlin Wall. In this speech, they discussed that a “new procedure” was required to reposition asylum seekers equitably among the 28-nation European Union bloc.

After talks with the bloc’s justice and interior ministers, EU diplomacy leaders and their correlatives from Jordan, Lebanon, Balkan countries and Turkey were to get together to discuss the refugee crisis in Luxembourg on Thursday.

Germany, a country which people of war-torn countries have predominantly fled to since World War I, is supposed to take in between 800,000 and 1 million refugees this year alone.

According to German authorities, they reported nearly 577,000 refugees in the first nine months and a third of whom were alleged to be Syrian.

TRTWorld and agencies