Germany said Tuesday it approves of using EU aid funds to pressure member states into accepting binding quotas to relocate 120,000 refugees, after several eastern countries refused the migrant distribution proposal.
“The negotiations situation is such that nothing happens to countries which refuse. We need to talk about ways of exerting pressure. These are often countries that receive a lot of structural funds from the European Union,” Germany’s Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told ZDF.
European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker “has suggested that we should look at whether these countries should get less structural funds, which I agree with,” he added.
The comments came as the main border crossing point between Serbia and Hungary was closed to migrants.
Police figures showed meanwhile that on Monday, 9,380 people crossed into Hungary, smashing the previous record of 5,809 set on Sunday.
At least 13 migrants including four children trying to reach Greece drowned Tuesday when their boat from Turkey sank in international waters, local media reported.
Turkish coastguards rescued 205 migrants from the wooden boat which set off from Turkish holiday resort town of Datca in the southwest for the Greek island of Kos, the private Dogan news agency said. The nationalities of the migrants are not yet known.
Rescue efforts were still continuing, according to the news agency.