22:30 GMT +317 December 2018
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    German Chancellor Angela Merkel

    Europe Needs Fair System of Migrant Relocation – Merkel

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    Spain is the first European country to seal a deal with Germany on sending back previously registered migrants. According to the Spanish government, Madrid and Berlin have a "common approach" towards migration.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised Germany's most recent migration deal with Spain, describing it as "positive," adding that Berlin was mulling over instating the same agreement with Greece.

    In addition, she recalled that similar agreements were reached with Libya and Turkey, and she stated that the EU should now strengthen its ties with migrant transit countries like Morocco and Tunisia.

    READ MORE: EU to Give Additional $6.8Mln to Bosnia to Tackle Migration — EU Commission

    She went on to elaborate on the EU's current approach to tackling the migration crisis in Europe.

    "The Dublin system needs to be improved. In theory, migrants who initially arrived in Spain cannot come to Germany. But this does not correspond to reality. All the European countries should jointly develop a fair system and organize in the first place the return of those who are not eligible to remain on European soil," Merkel told a press conference after her meeting with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

    Merkel stressed that "each country has certain expectations, and the EU should work together on the issue of returning migrants."

    "Those who are entitled to stay should be fairly distributed among the EU countries. So far we have not found a solution. But we are sure that we need a fair distribution system," the German chancellor pointed out.

    She called the migration crisis in Europe "a common challenge for all," adding that it "cannot be linked to the geographical position of a country." "This is not a problem for one, two or three countries, since we all benefit from freedom of movement in the EU. Everyone should take responsibility and work to find a solution," Merkel said.

    Earlier this week, Germany and Spain reached an agreement concerning the return of migrants, who were originally registered in Spain but went on to reach Germany, within 48 hours of their arrival at the German border.

    This year, over 24,000 migrants have so far been registered in Spain, which amounts to the total number of arrivals in 2017. The county's prime minister has been severely criticized for allegedly encouraging migrants to come to Spain, whereas Italy, for example, stands for stricter border controls. 

    European countries have been experiencing a large-scale migration crisis since 2015 due to the influx of thousands of migrants and refugees fleeing crises in their home countries in the Middle East and North Africa. These migrants have been trying to reach EU countries through various routes, including via Italy, Greece, Turkey and the Balkans.

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    migration, Angela Merkel, Germany, Spain
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