France, Germany push for deal to end migration row

France, Germany push for deal to end migration row

France, Germany push for deal to end migration row

Salvini said that France would not transform Italy - which has taken in almost 700,000 migrants since 2013 - "into Europe's refugee camp".

Italy has proposed these asylum-processing "hotspots" be located in the migrants' countries of origin or transit.

Even though new arrivals have dropped, the political consequences of migration pressures are still reverberating around Europe.

One of the key accomplishments of the EU is the Schengen free travel zone and some fear that closing internal borders between EU nations to keep migrants out would undermine that cornerstone of EU co-operation.

Referring to hasty arrangements and a domestic crisis over migration policies within Merkel's coalition government, the fervently anti-migrant Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orban, said: "We understand that countries have domestic political difficulties, but this can't result in pan-European confusion". He said leaders planned to try to sort out the legality of a range of ideas meant to clamp down on illegal migration.

One proposal from European Council President Donald Tusk is to find spots outside Europe to sort economic migrants from people with legitimate asylum claims.

"France's generosity can not be called into question by anybody and it is not for Mr. Salvini, who closes his ports (to migrants).to teach France a lesson", French European Affairs Minister Nathalie Loiseau responded.

"We must not give in", Macron said.

The survey by Forsa for broadcasters N-tv and RTL showed that 71 percent of respondents supported Merkel's view that European countries should work together on finding a solution, over Interior Minister Horst Seehofer's nationally-focused plans, Die Welt reported Monday.

Merkel has been badly weakened in recent weeks by an anti-migration rebellion inside her own conservative coalition, making her more vulnerable than at any other point in her 13-year leadership. "Everyone is responsible for everything", she said.

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In a sign of the growing tensions within the EU, French President Emmanuel Macron suggested Saturday that countries who refused to pull their weight on accepting asylum seekers should have their EU benefits cut.

The leaders agreed on less controversial moves, including a strengthening of the bloc's border protection forces, and on striking agreements with African countries for the repatriation of those not entitled to asylum.

The EU "must have a common migration policy. based on solidarity, responsibility and respect for human rights", Sanchez said. All 28 European Union members are scheduled to meet Thursday and Friday.

Despite the different perspectives, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said, "progress is possible on Thursday".

"We have given the right direction for the debate underway".

Encouraged by a deal with Turkey that has slashed the number of people arriving from there by 97 percent since 2015, the European Union appeared ready to greenlight plans to set up screening centers in Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Niger and Tunisia. The decline is even starker compared with 2016: It equals just 19 per cent of the same period in 2016.

"A country like Italy has not at all the same migratory pressure as a year ago".

"We can not have countries that benefit hugely from European Union solidarity and claim national self-interest when it comes to the issue of migrants", Macron said.

There was little chance Sunday's meeting would be a game changer - especially after four eastern European states, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia - announced they would boycott it.

Information for this article was contributed by Nikos Chrysoloras, Alexander Weber and Marine Strauss of Bloomberg News; by Michael Birnbaum of The Washington Post; and by Raf Casert, Lorne Cook, Nicole Winfield, Barry Hatton and Kirsten Grieshaber of The Associated Press.

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