Merkel warns of consequences for EU asylum laggards

Source: The Local

Countries that fail to take part in the quota scheme for assigning asylum seekers around the European Union could themselves be denied help in other areas, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday. “If there is no solidarity on migration, neither will there be in other areas — and that would be bitter for European cohesion,” Merkel told weekly newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. The chancellor’s comments read like a warning to eastern European countries, who receive billions of euros in net benefits from EU membership — unlike net contributor countries such as Germany. Eastern governments last week reacted angrily to a court decision requiring them to accept a share of asylum seekers from overstretched Greece and Italy.
Hungary and Slovakia failed Wednesday in a challenge before the 28-nation EU’s top court, the European Court of Justice, to block the quota scheme agreed in Brussels two years ago.
A majority of EU interior ministers voted in September 2015 to assign some 120,000 people around the EU out of the 1.6 million who have landed on Greek and Italian shores since 2014,
But the quotas proved unpopular with some former communist eastern European governments, who said they were not equipped to integrate people from mainly Muslim countries.

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