12:37 GMT +322 July 2019
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    Sobotka criticizes Merkel

    Europe Rises Against Merkel's Refugee Policies

    © AFP 2019 / Odd Andersen
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    Europe's largest countries are increasingly dissatisfied with Germany's dominant status in the EU, and have started harshly criticizing Germany's chancellor.

    Many European countries are struggling with the policy of pressure and coercion pursued by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. By offering generous benefits to asylum seekers, she prompted the huge influx of refugees into Europe without creating the necessary conditions and compliance with formal procedures, writes the German news portal web.de.

    Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said that a united Europe should not serve the interests of the 28 EU countries, not Germany alone. Italian politicians have harshly criticized the negligent attitude of the German Chancellor regarding the necessary procedures for the reception of refugees.

    "Between July and August Germany took in migrants and didn’t take fingerprints, because Merkel said, 'first solidarity then bureaucracy'. What is valid for Italy has to be valid for Germany," — said Renzi in interview with Financial Times.

    A similar view is shared by the Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, who believes that Merkel, in fact, provoked a wave of illegal immigration by inviting refugees to Europe.

    "Germany has sent a signal, which went out widely in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa and was heard. That call triggered a wave of illegal migration to Europe. It can not be denied," Sobotka told Süddeutsche Zeitung.

    According to the International Organization for Migration, (IOM) 990,671 migrants and a refugees have arrived in Europe since the beginning of the year. At the same time, 3,695 people died at sea when attempting to reach European shores. Since October 16, seven people per day have died on average.

    Greece and Italy remain the key points of entry for refugees seeking asylum in the European Union. More than 800,000 people have arrived in Greece since the beginning of the year; approximately 57,000 of them have arrived in December alone.


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