A report by the Daily Mail has quoted the French PM as saying ‘It was not France that said to come’ . Implying that it was not France,but Germany who threw their doors open to migrants.
- French PM Manuel Valls says Europe cannot take in any more refugees
- He called for tighter external border controls to determine fate of the EU
- Took veiled shot at Angela Merkel saying ‘It wasn’t France that said come’
- But the German leader says she is sticking by her open doors migration policy
Europe is stretched to it limits and cannot take in any more migrants, according to the French Prime Minister.
And in a veiled shot at German leader Angela Merkel, who said refugees were welcome in Europe, Manuel Valls said that it wasn’t France that ‘told them to come’.
Europe is grappling with its worst refugee crisis since the Second World War with almost one million refugees expected to arrive by the end of the year.
But in an interview with German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Mr Valls said: ‘We cannot accomodate any more refugees in Europe, that’s not possible’, adding that tighter external border controls would determine the fate of the EU.
‘If we don’t do that, the people will say “enough is enough”, Valls warned.
The comments were published only hours before German Chancellor Angela Merkel was scheduled to meet French President Francois Hollande in Paris.
Merkel was initially celebrated at home and abroad for her welcoming approach to the refugees, many of whom are fleeing conflict in the Middle East.
But as the flow has continued the chancellor has come under increasing criticism.
Some conservatives say Merkel’s decision to open up Germany’s borders to Syrian refugees in September has spurred more migrants to come.
The refugee debate has become more politically charged after the deadly attacks in Paris that stoked fears ISIS militants could exploit the migrant crisis to send extremists to Europe.
Mr Valls avoided criticising Merkel directly for having suspended European asylum rules to allow in Syrian refugees stranded in Hungary but said France was taken by surprise by the German leader’s decision.
He added: ‘Germany has made an honourable choice there.
‘But it was not France that said: Come!’
But despite the criticism, Mrs Merkel told Germany’s lower house today that she would be standing by her open doors policy.
In a nod to critics in her conservative party, especially in Bavaria, where most of the migrants enter Germany, she said that migrants who do not need protection must be sent home.
‘But simply sealing ourselves off will not solve the problem,’ she said.
Merkel repeated her ‘we will cope’ mantra and reiterated her argument that Europe must tackle the causes of the crisis by working for peace in Syria and engaging Turkey as a partner in the refugee crisis.
She countered politicians in some countries who have warned that the refugee crisis has exposed problems in Europe’s Schengen passport-free area, saying that states must develop it further by agreeing on migrant quotas.
‘A distribution of refugees according to economic strength and other conditions … and the readiness for a permanent distribution mechanism … will determine whether the Schengen area will hold in the long term,’ she said.
Meanwhile new Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo said her government was not prepared to accept 4,500 new refugees, saying the Paris terror attacks had ‘changed the situation.’
Mrs Szydlo said: ‘After Paris, the situation has changed.
‘We will be proposing to sit down at a table and think over, whether the solutions which have been proposed are good.
‘In our view, we are not prepared to accept those quotas of refugees.’