Merkel rejects Trump's Germany crime claim

Pauline Gross
June 24, 2018

She arrived later in the Lebanese capital Beirut, another major Middle Eastern refugee host country, where she was expected to meet officials, businessmen and representatives of United Nations organizations during a two-day visit.

"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. Standing next to Jordan's King Abdullah II, she made no reference to the crisis that could shake up her coalition, AP reports.

The chancellor said Germany will provide the $100 million loan in addition to bilateral aid which amounts to about 384 million euros ($442 million) this year.

On arrival, Mrs Merkel said: "One large part of today's discussions will be protecting the outside borders and how we reduce illegal migration to Europe".

And the Danish Maersk Line, the world's leading shipping container company, said one of its vessels rescued 113 migrants off the Italian coast on Saturday. Merkel said she was optimistic her government and parliament would back the proposed reforms.

The meeting came on the heels of a tense domestic standoff for Merkel, who was given a two-week window to broker an EU-wide migration deal before the European Union summit in Brussels on June 28-29.

Interior minister Horst Seehofer, also from the CSU, added: "Unfortunately, there were no discussions with us on this topic in advance, so we should not be now surprised that many questions and interpretations are emerging".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz arrive for the weekly cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, June 20, 2018.

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Separately, she expressed concern about a decree issued by Syrian President Bashar Assad which would require Syrian residents to register to prove and reclaim properties.

"These rescue ships can forget about reaching Italy", Italy's new firebrand interior minister, Matteo Salvini, said Saturday as he assured his anti-migrant base that he would "crush" the human trafficking business.

"If for the arrogant President Macron this is not a problem, we invite him to stop the insults and to demonstrate generosity by opening the many French ports and ceasing to push back women, children and men to Ventimiglia". "It has all the skills and the means to do so", she said.

More than 6 million Syrians have fled their homeland since the civil war erupted in 2011. This makes Lebanon the largest host country in the region, putting a huge strain on the economy. Hundreds of thousands migrated onward to Europe, embarking on unsafe sea routes at the mercy of smugglers.

"Soeder's daily sorties defy reality", SPD deputy chairman Thorsten Schaefer-Guembel told national news agency DPA, noting that the coalition had signed off on an investment budget for the eurozone in their negotiations three months ago.

Macron said the measures would boost "stability and solidarity" in the eurozone.

"When crimes such as theft, drug dealing and sexual assault are not reported or only to a very small degree because the victims are ashamed, then those crimes do not become part of the statistics", Pazderski said in Berlin.

Other reports by GizPress

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