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Refugee crisis tests Europe’s core ideals says Merkel


Angela Merkel.  PHOTO: Wikipedia

Angela Merkel. PHOTO: Wikipedia

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday that the refugee crisis facing Europe is testing the core ideals of universal rights at the heart of the European Union.

“Universal civil rights have been closely linked with Europe and its history as a founding impetus of the European Union,” she said.

“If Europe fails on the question of refugees, if this close link with universal civil rights is broken, then it won’t be the Europe we wished for,” she said, urging other EU members to accept their fair share of asylum seekers.

Speaking to foreign journalists in Berlin, Merkel said: “Europe as a whole needs to move. Member states must share responsibility for asylum-seeking refugees.”

Germany expects to receive 800,000 asylum seekers this year, four times more than in 2014 and more than any other EU country.

Merkel expressed confidence that Europe will stand up to the challenge, pointing to previous challenges such as the 2008 banking crisis, and to problems Germany has overcome, from 1990 reunification to its ongoing nuclear phase-out.

On a spate of hate crimes and attacks against refugee shelters in Germany, she vowed that the “full force of law” will be brought down on those who insult, attack or launch arson attacks targeting the newcomers.

“There will be zero tolerance for those who put in question the dignity of other people,” she said.

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  • AlgorithmicAnalyst

    Best solution, most humane and most economical, is to set up housing voucher programs in their home countries, or nearby countries (in cases where their home country is too dangerous, like Syria), so they can stay in the general area they came from.

    Initially, funding would probably have to come from foreign governments or international organizations, but housing voucher programs are an economic stimulus, and are close to being economically self-sustainable (or better), so the host government should be able to take over the funding in the long run.

    Housing voucher programs have worked well in USA, to ease the disastrous homeless crisis, and in fact are the only type of program that has worked in practice.

    The macroeconomic ideas showing that housing voucher programs are sound date back to Keynes, but are probably too arcane and abstract for the general public to make sense of ………………….

  • deadlock

    One would think you don’t solve problems by perpetuating them but it seems Germans know better. Fair enough but then, don’t try to impose quotas on other sovereign states that are not insane. Besides, how do you want to stop immigrants to flee to Germany anyway? Ridiculous. Btw, wasn’t she the one who said: