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Angela Merkel admitted mistakes regarding the migration crisis management

Some European and U.S. media outlets continue to comment on the migration crisis that affects Europe and focus mainly on Germany’s position on the issue. A majority of sources comment on Angela Merkel’s declaration that Germany had made some mistakes regarding the migration problem.

The economic daily Äripäev reports that German Chancellor gave an interview to Süddeutsche Zeitung where she was unusually candid, underlying that the main EU mistake was that there was no cooperation and that each country was focused on building its borders. “We did not embrace the problem in an appropriate way”, she said as quoted by The Times.

Magyar Hírlap notes that she even admitted that Germany rejected the proportional distribution of refugees for too long and was happy to let Spain and others at the EU’s outer borders deal with the issue when it started in 2004. She added that patience is required from EU and Germany in resolving the refugee crisis, because the problem is a long-term one, Helsingin Sanomat reports. She also said that the EU must improve its cooperation and substantially increase development aid for countries in Africa, reports.

In his editorial for Die Zeit, Ulrich Greiner is highly critical of Ms Merkel’s actions and statements, noting that she has isolated Germany within the EU and has failed in her search for solidarity among the European governments. According to security analyst Miloš Balabán writing in Právo, Ms Merkel was not self-critical enough, as it more likely seems that she wants to distribute the responsibility for the chaotic situation to the whole Union and divest herself of the blame for her own mistakes.
According to UNHCR spokesman William Spindler, the current crisis is due to the fact that there is not enough political will to resolve the situation and further reprimands European countries for avoiding responsibility in the issue, Helsingin Sanomat notes. Regarding the integration issue, on ARD, Thomas Baumann notes that Angela Merkel’s “We can do this” could have been the new German motto, but that her action failed as she didn’t explain what she meant. Angela Merkel recalled that while it is clear that not every refugee comes with good intentions, “it is simply incorrect to say that terrorism came only with the refugees”, Magyar Hírlap and note.
Peter Altmaier, the Chief of the Chancellery and Refugee Coordinator of the German Federal Government said in an interview with ZDF that due to the hugeness of the challenges surrounding the refugee crisis, it is normal that mistakes have been made. However, according to Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, such self-critique will most likely have little impact on the polls, as anti-immigration AfD party is gaining more popularity.
On a more global scene, at a bilateral meeting, the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and the German Chancellor called for the EU to expel migrants failing to be eligible for an asylum application, warning that the EU “must proceed with determination to repatriating those who have no right to be here”, El País writes.
More radically, commenting in The Sun, Roger Boyes suggests that German government should train migrants so that they can return to their home countries and rebuild.
On Tuesday, the Council of EU gave the green light to start training Libyan coastguards for the so-called operation Sophia against migrant trafficking, La Voz de Galicia reads. STA reports that the number of arrivals of illegal migrants from Libya to Italy has increased in recent days; however, these numbers are still considerably lower than in the same period last year.
Kathimerini writes that EP President Martin Schulz and Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos are expected to visit Turkey today. Mr Schulz will meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in order to discuss the EU/Turkey deal on migration. Indeed, in the last five days, migrants have started to cross again the Aegean Sea from Turkey to the island of Lesbos as Turkish coastguard patrols have almost disappeared, La Stampa reports. In the Italian newspaper, Marta Ottaviani and Monica Perosino say this could be a sign of the Turkish President attempting to pressure the EU to fulfil its part of the accord.
Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu is quoted by Hurriyet as saying that Turkey “did its part” of the cooperation. “However, unless the EU fulfils its part, Turkey cannot prevent the wave of people. We do not think the EU is willing to fulfil its responsibilities. We expect visa exemption for Turkish citizens by October at the latest”, he further specified. The EU-Turkey deal is on shaky ground as nobody expects the EU to lift visa requirements for Turkish citizens by this deadline, writes Večernji list.
An editorial in the Daily Express comments on the opening of two new migrant camps in Paris by the end of this month, saying that it will not help tackle the problem with migration and will “only make things worse”.
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