German leader Angela Merkel has called for European Union funding to be based on nations’ willingness to take in third world migrants.
Speaking ahead of a Brussels summit with other leaders of EU nations, the German Chancellor said fighting for “shared European values” should be at the heart of the bloc’s spending decisions.
“Solidarity cannot be a one-way street,” she insisted in the Bundestag.
“With the distribution of structural funds, we must ensure that the allocation criteria in future reflect the engagement of many regions and municipalities in absorbing and integrating migrants.”
Stressing that a new coalition between her supposedly centre-right Christian Democrats and the left-liberal Social Democratic Party would be unashamedly pro-EU, Merkel proclaimed: “More than ever we need European answers to the pressing, big questions of our time.”
Local media reports that the Chancellor walked out of the session when challenged on her remarks by the anti-mass migration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which recently moved into second place in the polls and will become the official opposition if plans for a “grand coalition” go ahead.
Meanwhile, EU Budget and Human Rights Commissioner Günther Oettinger echoed Merkel in comments to the Süddeutsche Zeitung on Friday, saying that Hungary and Poland must respect the bloc’s “values” or else lose funding.
Oettinger said Brussels should tell countries resisting EU plans to spread migrants from the Middle East and Africa throughout Europe: “We will cut investment if you continue on this course.”
The Eurocrat said the bloc needs to send a clear message to conservative countries that “We will be ready for solidarity when you come round and demonstrate adherence to [EU] values and rule of law.”
Alternative for Germany (AfD) co-leader Alexander Gauland described the idea of linking EU funds to taking in migrants from the third world “political blackmail”.
“Countries want to decide for themselves who they take in. There is no national duty with regard to multiculturalism,” he said.
Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán also hit back at the EU project to force multiculturalism on the whole bloc in his State of the Nation address last weekend, declaring: “Hungary will only express solidarity with Western European leaders who want to rescue their country and its Christian culture.”
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