France favors financial sanctions for European Union states refusing asylum migrants

France favors financial sanctions for European Union states refusing asylum migrants

France favors financial sanctions for European Union states refusing asylum migrants

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has said he is "definitely satisfied" with the migration summit in Brussels, hailing that European leaders "have the right direction in the current debate".

Still, most respondents from across Germany generally did not trust in either Merkel or Seehofer to find a lasting solution for migration concerns: 40 percent said Merkel is capable of producing a solution, while 25 percent said the same of Seehofer.

Underscoring the divisions, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic - which reject any suggestion of mandatory refugee resettlement among European Union members - said they would boycott the meeting. Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia announced a boycott of the meeting.

She said European Union leaders were unlikely to come to an agreement on Friday and said she favoured smaller agreements among individual countries to balance immigration flows.

"We are all responsible for all issues [regarding migration]", said German chancellor Angela Merkel, who had called for the meeting ahead of next week's European Union summit.

Merkel, who is scrambling to prevent a mutiny in her government over migration, admitted there were still "some differences" but also "a great deal of common ground".

"I am in favor of sanctions being imposed in the event of no cooperation", he said during a press conference with new Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez in Paris.

In recent days, Italy has refused to accept two migrant rescue ships.

Volker Kauder, a senior lawmaker in Mrs Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU), told German television the argument had not been resolved at Tuesday's talks, which went past midnight, at the chancellery, and stressed that the situation was grave.

On the eve of a mini-summit about the divisive migration issue, Macron and Sanchez also declared support for the creation of closed reception centers where migrants would be held while their asylum claims are considered.

At emergency migration talks in Brussels, a group of 16 countries led by France and Germany were thrashing out who should take responsibility for migrants and refugees arriving in Europe - now mostly Italy, Greece and Spain - how long they should take care of them and how much their European partners should do to help out.

Although no formal agreements were reached today, ahead of a full summit on Friday, the toughened attitudes towards migrants were on stark display.

Amid the flurry of diplomacy, the rescue ship of German aid group Mission Lifeline remained stranded Sunday off Malta with 234 migrants aboard and no port at which to dock after both Italy and Malta refused to give authorization.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz says his country will reintroduce controls on its border with Italy if Germany were to turn back migrants at its border to Austria.

France's human rights ombudsman Jacques Toubon also criticized the French response to the Aquarius rescue ship, telling the Journal du Dimanche newspaper that the migrants should have been allowed to enter the country.

Macron has suggested, like Merkel, solutions by willing countries to make progress now since unanimity among the 28 member states will be hard.

Europe would beef up its own border force, he said, and strengthen efforts to work with countries like Libya and Balkan states, through which many migrants travel. Under the Dublin rules, asylum-seekers must be processed in the country in which they first arrive - often Italy, Greece or Spain.

The EU struck a cash-for-repatriation deal with Turkey in March 2016 and engaged Lybian coast guard in cracking down on migrant trafficking, following the peak year of 2015 which saw more than one million irregular migrants flocking to Europe via different routes.

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