Merkel: Greece must do more to accommodate refugees

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in an interview Saturday that Athens must do more to accommodate the growing masses of migrants who have found themselves stuck in Greece by border closures.

The Greek government estimates that 32,000 people have been stranded in Greece after Macedonia and other countries on the Balkan route to Western Europe decided to restrict the number of people let through amid concerns that they may end up with a backlog if Austria or Germany stops admitting them.

In an interview with German tabloid Bild am Sonntag, Merkel pointed out that Greece told the EU it would create 50,000 accommodation spots for migrants by the end of 2015.

"The difference needs to be made up for with lightening speed, because the Greek government must provide humane accommodations," Merkel said.

The chancellor added that her conversations with Greek Prime Minster Alexis Tsipras had showed his desire to better house the migrants and that the EU must show solidarity in its support for Greece.

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere echoed Merkel's sentiments, pointing out that Greece is in a difficult but solvable situation and saying that Germany would not take in the refugees currently in the country.

"The policy of waving [migrants] through began, among other places, in Greece," de Maiziere told the Passauer Neue Presse.

"Germany in particular has borne the brunt of it. The policy of waving through is now over and must remain so."

According to de Maiziere, the number of migrants for the country's population of 11 million was "not unreasonable," given the aid that other countries have offered to Greece.

Last update: Sat, 05/03/2016 - 19:12

More from Europe

Police suspect tear gas in London City airport "chemical incident"

Police said they suspected CS gas could have caused a "chemical incident" that led to a three-hour evacuation of ...

EU summit fails to break Belgian impasse over Canada trade deal

EU leaders ended two days of talks Friday with a failure to break a regional blockade to a landmark deal the bloc is...

Germany's economy "has many problems," Italian premier Renzi says

Germany has "many" economic problems, including a large trade surplus which violates European Union rules, the...

Tusk: EU leaders agree on need for better tools against cheap imports

EU leaders have made progress on ramping up the bloc's protection against unfairly cheap imports, European Council...

Catalonia to uphold bullfighting ban despite veto by top court

The Spanish region of Catalonia wants to uphold its ban on bullfighting despite the ban being overturned by the...