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ANGELA MERKEL

Hollande and Merkel call for strict refugee quotas

Germany and France have agreed that the European Union, facing a slew of migrant crises, should impose binding quotas on the numbers member states take in.

Hollande and Merkel call for strict refugee quotas
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande. Photo: AFP
The French presidency announced the two European powerhouses would send joint proposals to Brussels “for organising the welcome of refugees and their fair distribution in Europe” and for “reinforcing the European asylum system.”
   
With the large number of refugees and migrants flooding into Europe and moving through the continent, it warned that “dramas are being followed by tragedies.”
   
“Thousands of victims have died since the start of the year. The European Union must act in a decisive manner in line with its values,” the French presidency said.
   
It added though that the joint proposals also aim to ensure “the return of irregular migrants to their countries of origin, and bring the necessary support and cooperation with countries of transit and origin.”
 
German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters during a visit in the Swiss capital that the message would be shared with European institutions.
 
“I spoke this morning with the French president, and the French-German position, which will transmit to the European institutions, is that we agree that … we need binding quotas within the European Union to share the burden. That is the principle of solidarity,” 
 
She insisted the bloc needed to adhere to the basic principle that “those who need protection … get it.”
   
She said the “economic power and size (of countries) should play a role” in the number of migrants they are asked to take in, but stressed that without quotas, “we cannot solve this problem.”
 
Merkel said that while Europe has an obligation to help those in need, “those who are coming for purely economic reasons cannot expect a lasting protection and must leave the country.”
 

ANGELA MERKEL

Merkel and Macron to meet for dinner in Berlin on Friday

French President Emmanuel Macron will have dinner with Angela Merkel in Berlin on Friday - the first time this year the German chancellor has received a foreign leader in person, her spokeswoman said.

Merkel and Macron to meet for dinner in Berlin on Friday
Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron at the G7 summit. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/Pool Getty Images/AP | Leon Neal

The working dinner at the chancellery will focus on “European policy issues”, government spokeswoman Martina Fietz said on Monday.

Talks will focus on the “coordination between Germany and France” ahead of an EU summit in Brussels on June 24-25, she said.

The dinner meeting comes after G7 leaders gathered in England at the weekend for their first in-person summit in almost two years.

VIDEO: Watch Merkel’s funniest moments 

World leaders were also meeting in Brussels on Monday for the first NATO summit with US President Joe Biden.

Subjects on the agenda included how to deal with China’s rise and confronting an emboldened Russia, ahead of a meeting between Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva on Wednesday.

At the EU summit, leaders are due to discuss the Covid-19 pandemic, economic recovery, migration and external relations, including with Turkey and Russia.

At an online Franco-German council of ministers in May, Macron paid tribute to the German chancellor, who is bowing out of politics this year after 16 years in power.

“This last council allows me to say how much the Franco-German relationship owes to your commitment, your willingness to take action, sometimes your patience with us, and your ability to listen,” Macron said.

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