Favouring sanctions against EU countries refusing refugees: Macron

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Paris, June 24 (IANS) French President Emmanuel Macron has said he was backing eventual financial sanctions for European countries which refuse to cooperate over the migrant crisis.

At a joint press conference on Saturday with visiting Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, Macron told reporters that “mechanisms of sanctions would exist in case of no-solidarity”, Xinhua reported.

“We can not have countries that benefit massively from the solidarity of the European Union and who massively claim their national selfishness when it comes to migratory issues,” he said.

After the stranded Aquarius rescue ship triggered heated debate on migration between the bloc’s member countries, Macron reiterated that “on migration, national solutions do not work”.

“When we talk about a European solution, it can be inter-governmental, bilateral solutions, but we reject purely national solutions that go through the closing of borders or non-cooperative approaches,” he said.

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“National solutions can satisfy in the short term, can make public opinion believe that they are more effective, but the results are not obtained as well,” he added.

Instead, he pleaded for “a cooperative approach” in order to reach “effective and humane solutions”.

In this context, he proposed to set up, in accordance with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, closed centres near places where migrants often arrive first in Europe.

The centres are expected to allow “…a rapid response to asylum requests, a European solidarity so that each country takes in an organised way the persons who are entitled to the asylum,” according to French head of state.

He added migrants who would not be entitled to asylum, should be returned directly to their country of origin and not via other countries.

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European leaders will meet in Brussels on Sunday to discuss ways to end the migration dispute which divides the 28-member bloc.



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