29 August 2016

EU nations must not refuse Muslim migrants, says Merkel

The refusal of some EU countries to accept Muslim refugees is “unacceptable”, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday as Germany called for quotas to divide the influx throughout the bloc.

“That’s not right at all that some countries say: ‘generally speaking, we don’t want to have Muslims in our countries’,” Merkel told German public television channel ARD.

During the interview, Merkel rejected Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel’s criticism that the conservatives had “underestimated” the challenge of integrating record numbers of migrants.

Gabriel leads the Social Democrats (SPD) -- the junior coalition partner in Merkel’s government -- and his comments come as campaigning kicks off for a federal election next year and regional elections in Berlin and the eastern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

He had also criticised Merkel’s catchphrase “Wir schaffen das” (“We can do this”), which she adopted during last year’s migrant crisis. [AFP and Reuters] Read more