08:29 GMT +321 March 2019
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    Police directs migrants at a train station near the border with Austria in Freilassing, Germany September 15, 2015.

    German PM Calls for Fines on EU States Opposing Migrant Quotas

    © REUTERS / Dominic Ebenbichler
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    The European Union should put financial pressure on member states that oppose binding quotas for relocating thousands of refugees throughout the bloc, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said Tuesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The idea of financial stimulus was proposed by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who suggested cutting financial assistance to countries like the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary, who opposed the plan.

    "Nothing happens to the countries that refuse. Migrants just go through them. I think we must talk about ways to put pressure on them. These are often the countries that receive a lot of structural funds from the EU," de Maiziere said Tuesday when speaking on the German television channel ZDF.

    The minister said this move could help maintain unity across the European Union on the issue of migration.

    Monday’s emergency meeting of EU interior ministers failed to reach a unanimous agreement on the Commission’s proposal to relocate 120,000 mostly Syrian refugees throughout the European Union, with several Eastern European countries refusing the mandatory quotas.

    Germany previously opened its borders to tens of thousands of refugees stranded in Hungary but later said its capacity to accommodate newcomers was stretched to its limit. On Sunday, Berlin tightened border controls with Austria.


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