Merkel: Greece must do more to accommodate refugees

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.

Last update: Sat, 05/03/2016 - 19:12
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