TIME migration

German Chancellor Angela Merkel Condemns Closure of the Balkan Route to Refugees

CDU Campaigns In Aalen, Baden-Wuerttemberg
Thomas Niedermueller—Getty Images German Chancellor and Chairwoman of the German Christian Democrats (CDU) Angela Merkel speaks to supporters at a CDU campaign rally ahead of Baden-Wuerttemberg state elections on March 10, 2016 in Aalen, Germany.

The route is the major pathway to Western Europe for refugees arriving in Greece

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has criticized other European countries for shutting the door to refugees and migrants hoping to reach Europe via the Balkan route, the BBC reports.

European Union members Austria, Slovenia and Croatia — along with non-E.U. states Serbia and Macedonia — have all taken actions to prevent people from moving across their borders. Many people fleeing wars in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq — along with economic migrants — remain stuck in Greece as a result.

“Personally I think that Austria’s unilateral decision, and then those made subsequently by Balkan countries, will obviously bring us fewer refugees, but they put Greece in a very difficult situation,” Merkel told MDR radio in Germany on Thursday, according to the BBC.

A deal to return many migrants from Greece to Turkey, linked to resettlement of Syrian refugees in E.U. nations, is still to be finalized.

“If we do not manage to reach a deal with Turkey, then Greece cannot bear the weight for long,” Merkel said. “That’s why I am seeking a real European solution, that is, a solution for all 28 [E.U. members].”

[BBC]

Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


YOU BROKE TIME.COM!

Dear TIME Readers,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team