angela merkel.jpg
Photograph: EPA/KAY NIETFELD

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in an interview Saturday that Athens must do more to accommodate the growing masses of migrants who have found themselves stuck in Greece by border closures.

The Greek government estimates that 32,000 people have been stranded in Greece after Macedonia and other countries on the Balkan route to Western Europe decided to restrict the number of people let through amid concerns that they may end up with a backlog if Austria or Germany stops admitting them.

In an interview with German tabloid Bild am Sonntag, Merkel pointed out that Greece told the EU it would create 50,000 accommodation spots for migrants by the end of 2015.

"The difference needs to be made up for with lightening speed, because the Greek government must provide humane accommodations," Merkel said.

The chancellor added that her conversations with Greek Prime Minster Alexis Tsipras had showed his desire to better house the migrants and that the EU must show solidarity in its support for Greece.

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere echoed Merkel's sentiments, pointing out that Greece is in a difficult but solvable situation and saying that Germany would not take in the refugees currently in the country.

"The policy of waving [migrants] through began, among other places, in Greece," de Maiziere told the Passauer Neue Presse.

"Germany in particular has borne the brunt of it. The policy of waving through is now over and must remain so."

According to de Maiziere, the number of migrants for the country's population of 11 million was "not unreasonable," given the aid that other countries have offered to Greece.

Related stories

Latest news

Trump-style rhetoric is making world more dangerous, Amnesty says

Divisive and "poisonous" language used by politicians such as US President Donald Trump is putting vulnerable populations at risk and making the whole world a more dangerous place, Amnesty International charged on Wednesday.

Canada soon to begin resettling Iraqi refugees, most of them Yezidis

Canada will resettle 1,200 survivors of the Islamic State campaign to target religious minorities in northern Iraq, Canadian officials announced Tuesday. 

Breitbart editor resigns after release of paedophilia comments

Milo Yiannopoulos, a controversial editor at the far-right Breitbart news website, resigned Tuesday after the emergence of recordings in which he appears to defend sexual relationships between young boys and older men.

Trump administration opens door for mass deportations

The US Department of Homeland Security laid the groundwork Tuesday for mass deportations of immigrants living illegally in the United States under an executive order by President Donald Trump last month.

Brexit bill: House of Lords says public can change mind on leaving EU

The British public should be able to change their minds on Brexit - just as Prime Minister Theresa May did, the upper chamber of parliament heard Tuesday during a marathon debate on legislation to kick off EU negotiations.

Italian lawmakers, rights activists clash over gay sex club scandal

Gay rights activists and conservative politicians clashed Tuesday after the chief of Italy's anti-discrimination office quit over allegations that money had been authorized for gay sex clubs.

EU countries agree new rules to avoid tax evasion

European Union finance ministers in Brussels on Tuesday reached a political agreement on new rules to ensure that multinational corporations do not declare profits in the countries where they pay the least tax but in the countries where they generate it.

Trump condemns "horrible, painful" anti-Jewish incidents

US President Donald Trump condemned a recent spate of threats against Jewish community targets across the United States, during a visit Tuesday to the newly opened National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington.

FinMin expects Croatia to exit Excessive Deficit Procedure this spring

Finance Minister Zdravko Maric said on Tuesday Croatia could exit the Excessive Deficit Procedure this spring and that it was showing progress in correcting macroeconomic imbalances.

Austria seeks to create jobs, but new EU immigrants need not apply

Austria plans to create 160,000 jobs in the next three years by subsidizing companies, but the project has raised concerns because it effectively excludes people who recently immigrated from other EU countries.

Juncker: Not good for W. Balkans that some in Washington want to water down EU

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Tuesday it was not good for Western Balkan countries that some people in the new US administration gave the impression of being against the European Union because those countries needed the prospects of EU membership.

Citizens invited to help create Croatian version of Monopoly

A project to create a Croatian edition of Monopoly, in which citizens can participate by submitting proposals and which could become a souvenir for tourists, was presented at a press conference on Tuesday.

German state approves full-face veil ban

Legislation that bans face veils in select public spaces and situations was agreed by the government of the southeastern German state of Bavaria on Tuesday.

Indian restaurant Gaggan in Bangkok named Asia's best for third year

Bangkok's Indian eatery Gaggan on Tuesday was named the best restaurant in Asia for the third consecutive year by Asia's 50 Best Restaurants.

HGK: 16 Croatian companies to exhibit at IDEX defence exhibition

Sixteen Croatian companies will exhibit their products at the 13th IDEX 2017 defence exhibition in Abu Dhabi, to be held on February 19-23.