September 15, 2015 / 12:46 PM / 4 years ago

Germany, Austria seek EU summit next week on refugees

Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann (L) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel address a news conference at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany September 15, 2015. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany and Austria want a special European Union summit next week to tackle the refugee crisis, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann said on Tuesday.

At a joint news conference in Berlin, Merkel said Germany, Austria and Sweden — countries that have borne the brunt of a wave of refugees from Asia, the Middle east and Africa — could not handle the situation on their own.

She also appeared to row back on an apparent threat by her interior minister that the EU should consider imposing financial penalties on member states that do not take their hare of refugees.

Merkel called for a return to a more European spirit, adding: “Threats are not the right way to achieve agreement.”

She defended Germany’s decision to impose border controls at the weekend in the face of an influx of asylum seekers, saying the move was intended to make it easier to register refugees.

Reporting by Paul Carrell and Medeleine Chambers; Writing by Giles Elgood

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