German Chancellor Angela Merkel says “Europe as a whole needs to move” on how to deal with refugees and migrants arriving in the EU
“If Europe fails on the question of refugees, then it won’t be the Europe we wished for,” Merkel said, BBC reported.
She was speaking after Austrian authorities arrested five suspected people smugglers along the country’s eastern borders. On Thursday, 71 dead migrants were found near the Hungarian border.
Ms Merkel said European countries must share the burden of refugees. Regarding the challenges facing Germany, Mrs Merkel said “Germany is a strong country – we will manage.”
Germany is the main destination for migrants arriving on the EU’s eastern borders and expects the number of asylum seekers it receives to quadruple to about 800,000 in 2015.
Ms Merkel said there would be “no tolerance for those who question the dignity of other people” after a spate of arson attacks on refugee shelters and anti-migrant demonstrations.
“The number of people… helping strangers get through cities and communities and even taking them into their homes is far greater than the number of xenophobes.”
Mrs Merkel’s call for greater co-operation was echoed by French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who warned that Europe’s migrant crisis would be a “long and difficult challenge”.