French prime minister: Europe can't take any more refugees

EU countries are lining up in opposition to German chancellor Angela Merkel's open-door refugee policy with some countries closing their borders and others establishing strict border controls to slow the flood of  refugees.

Not Merkel.  The German leader is defiantly standing by her policy despite the Paris attacks, even though her position is putting enormous strain on her government coalition.


The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has vowed to stick to her open-door refugee policy, defying criticism at home and abroad which has intensified due to growing fears about a potential security risk after the Paris attacks.

Conservative Merkel faces splits in her right-left coalition and pressure from EU states, including France, over her insistence that Germany can cope with up to 1 million migrants this year and that Europe must accept quotas to take them in.

In a 40-minute speech to the Bundestag’s lower house, Merkel said the security threat level in Germany was high but people must carry on with normal life.

“The strongest response to terrorists is to carry on living our lives and our values as we have until now – self-confident and free, considerate and engaged,” she said to loud applause.

“We Europeans will show our free life is stronger than any terror,” Merkel added, battling with a croaky voice.

ISIS doesn't give a fig about our "free life."  In fact, that's what they're fighting against. 

No matter.  There is a growing chasm between what Merkel wants and what the rest of Europe will do.  French prime minister Manuel Valls told a German newspaper that Europe could not accommodate any more refugees and warned that tighter control of borders will determine the fate of the EU.


"We cannot accommodate any more refugees in Europe, that's not possible," Valls told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, adding that tighter control of Europe's external borders would determine the fate of the European Union.

"If we don't do that, the people will say: Enough of Europe," Valls warned.

The comments were published only hours before German Chancellor Angela Merkel was scheduled to meet French President Francois Hollande in Paris.

Merkel was initially celebrated at home and abroad for her welcoming approach to the refugees, many of whom are fleeing conflict in the Middle East. But as the flow has continued the chancellor has come under increasing criticism.

Some conservatives say Merkel's decision to open up Germany's borders to Syrian refugees in September has spurred more migrants to come.

The refugee debate has become more politically charged after the deadly attacks in Paris that stoked fears Islamic State militants could exploit the migrant crisis to send extremists to Europe.

Valls avoided criticising Merkel directly for having suspended European asylum rules to allow in Syrian refugees stranded in Hungary. "Germany has made an honourable choice there," he said.

But he signalled that Paris was taken by surprise by Merkel's decision: "It was not France that said: Come!"

Eastern Europe and the Balkans are in full revolt against the policies of Germany, while some of the larger EU countries like Austria, France, and Italy are gradually tightening border restrictions, trying to separate genuine refugees from the economic opportunists. 

But Germany continues to make no distinction, which has increased the flow of people from countries not at war or in any physical danger. 

Some countries are threatening the unity of the EU if the refugee quotas agreed to by a majority of EU foreign ministers are enforced.  This won't deter Merkel, who now has so much political capital invested in her open-door policy that she must see it through to its end.

If you experience technical problems, please write to