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Refugees 'won't get to choose what country they go to'

“That doesn’t exist anywhere in the world.”

Migrants walk on the railway track after crossing the border line between Serbia and Hungary near Roszke, southern Hungary.
Migrants walk on the railway track after crossing the border line between Serbia and Hungary near Roszke, southern Hungary.
Image: Apexchange

GERMANY’S INTERIOR MINISTER is making it clear that refugees wouldn’t get to choose what country they go to under a proposed European Union quota system to share the burden of new arrivals.

Germany, which is a favored destination and has taken the most asylum seek in the 28-nation EU, wants an agreement on quotas but faces resistance from several other countries.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere was quoted as telling the Tagesspiegel daily that if refugees get protection in Europe they must accept being distributed around the EU.

He said “there can be no free choice of residence for refugees. That doesn’t exist anywhere in the world.”

German police say a total of 12,200 people came to Munich yesterday and the flow is continuing into the city, the main point of entry to Germany.

Germany has become the destination of choice for many refugees, particularly for Syrians after Chancellor Angela Merkel decided to relax asylum rules for citizens of the war-torn country.

Hungary Migrants Migrants sit on border stones at the border line between Serbia and Hungary near Roszke, southern Hungary. Source: Apexchange

However, with some 450,000 people arriving in Europe’s biggest economy so far this year, local authorities are buckling under the sudden surge.

“Given the numbers from yesterday, it is very clear that we have reached the upper limit of our capacity,” said a Munich police spokesman.

Federal transport minister Alexander Dobrindt also weighed in, saying “effective measures are necessary now to stop the influx”.

As the continent scrambles to respond to the biggest movement of people since World War II, sharp divisions have emerged among the European Union’s 28 member states — both among governments and on the ground.

While Germany and France back proposals to help “frontline” states Italy, Greece and Hungary buckling under the strain, European Commission proposals for sharing 160,000 new arrivals in a quota scheme are facing resistance from eastern members.

With AFP reporting

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