EU

If We Rescued the Banks We Can Save Refugees, Merkel Says

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Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany must respond to the European refugee crisis with the same resolve it showed in rescuing banks and her government will spend billions of euros to handle the tide of migrants.

As the migration of people fleeing war and poverty strains Germany’s welcome and sows discord in the European Union, Merkel warned on Monday that the the EU’s passport-free travel zone is at risk. EU governments also shouldn’t discriminate against refugees on the basis of their religion, she said.

While the 28 EU countries have to find joint solutions, Germany has a duty to step up as Europe’s biggest economy and to treat the new arrivals as a potential enrichment for the country’s job market, Merkel told a news conference in Berlin.

“German thoroughness is great, but right now we need German flexibility,” she said. “We have many examples where we showed we can respond. Remember the bank rescues. During the international financial crisis, the federal and state governments pushed through the necessary legislation in a matter of days.”

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