- Title: Germany must act now to stop re-run of refugee crisis, Merkel rival says
- Date: 23rd July 2017
- Summary: AACHEN, GERMANY (JULY 23, 2017) (REUTERS) GERMAN SOCIAL DEMOCRATS (SPD) LEADER, MARTIN SCHULZ, ARRIVING FOR INTERVIEW SCHULZ AT INTERVIEW CLOSE UP OF SCHULZ (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN SOCIAL DEMOCRATS (SPD) LEADER, MARTIN SCHULZ, SAYING: "The figures in Italy are worrying. Thousands in one day. If we don't want to repeat what we saw in 2015, then we have to act now because Italians are at the limit of what they can handle. And that is why, I believe, we now have to help them. This is what solidarity among European states implies." VARIOUS OF SCHULZ DURING INTERVIEW (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN SOCIAL DEMOCRATS (SPD) LEADER, MARTIN SCHULZ, SAYING: "I spoke with Mr. Juncker today about the fact that the countries that are now helping Italians should also receive aid from Brussels, for example financially, or that the their expenses are considered when it comes to their budgets. The Commission is checking whether this is possible. I am also in touch with governments in some EU member states to see if they would accept an urgent distribution of refugees in the short term if needed." SCHULZ DURING INTERVIEW SCHULZ LEAVING
- Embargoed: 6th August 2017 15:52
- Keywords: Martin Schulz migration influx German election
- Location: AACHEN, GERMANY
- City: AACHEN, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA0016QXTAO7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Germany needs to take action now to prevent a re-run of 2015, when some 890,000 migrants arrived in the country, Chancellor Angela Merkel's Social Democrat challenger for a September election told Reuters on Sunday (July 23).
In September 2015, Merkel threw open Germany's borders to thousands of migrants to avoid a humanitarian disaster.
The move later hit her popularity and boosted the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD), though her conservatives have since recovered and support for the AfD has dropped.
Martin Schulz, whose Social Democrats (SPD) are lagging far behind Merkel in the polls ahead of a September 24 election, warned against a repeat scenario after more than 93,000 mainly sub-Saharan African and Bangladeshi migrants have arrived by boat in southern Italy so far in 2017, up 17 percent on the same period last year.
Other European Union countries need to help Italy, such as by taking in refugees, he added.
Schulz said he had spoken to European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker on Sunday about what financial or logistical help Brussels might be able to offer countries prepared to take in refugees and said he would speak to both the Italian government and the Commission about this during the week.
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