September 3, 2015 / 1:41 PM / 4 years ago

Merkel says can't be that a few countries shoulder refugee burden

BERNE, Sept 3 (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said during a visit to Switzerland on Thursday that the burden of taking on hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing conflicts in Syria and elsewhere must be shared out more fairly in Europe.

“The German government says the Dublin approach is not working anymore, because so many refugees are arriving at our external borders, that we can’t leave Italy or Greece alone to deal with this task,” she said at a news conference in Berne.

“At the same time, if we say that Italy and Greece can’t be left alone with this task, then neither can it be that three countries, like Sweden, Austria and Germany, are left alone with the lion’s share of the task.”

Merkel said Europe must solve the refugee crisis with “fairness and solidarity” and that Germany stood ready, in light of its economic strength, to assume its responsibilities. She said Christian values dictated that all people in danger had a right to protection. (Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Writing by Noah Barkin; Editing by Madeline Chambers)

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