• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Desperate refugees stuck in Greece call for Merkel's help
Refugees try to break through the Greek-Macedonia border. Photo: DPA

Desperate refugees stuck in Greece call for Merkel's help

DPA/The Local · 1 Mar 2016, 09:51

Published: 01 Mar 2016 09:51 GMT+01:00

“Merkel where are you? Merkel help us!” the refugees cried, according to a report by the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Hundreds of migrants from war-torn Syria and other Middle Eastern countries have been blocked in the attempt to reach sanctuary in northern Europe by the closure of borders all the way through the Balkans from Macedonia to Austria.

Macedonian police fought back hundreds of migrants who tried to storm the border on Monday, using tear gas to push back men trying to break through the steel gates.

An estimated 25,000 refugees are currently waiting in Greece, with around 3,000 more per day reaching the south-easternmost state in the European Union.

Germany has repeatedly called for a collective solution to the migrant crisis which does not cut off the economically struggling Greeks from the rest of the union.

"We can't leave [Greece] in the lurch," Merkel said in a TV interview on Sunday in which she insisted on her “damn duty” to find a collective European solution.

'National solutions won't solve anything'

On a visit to Washington on Monday Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the scenes at the Macedonian border that “are proof that we can try and find national solutions, but they won’t solve anything.”

Germany is furious with Austria, which it blames for splitting off from the path of solidarity and encouraging other countries to pursue self-interested policies.

Vienna was the first capital to announce it would be closing its borders, setting of a chain reaction which led to border gates being closed throughout the Balkan region.

Austria also announced in late February it would only accept 80 asylum applications a day, while it would allow a thousands of refugees to pass through its territory towards Germany. Berlin responded by calling the decision “unacceptable.”

Story continues below…

Germany’s critics in southern and eastern Europe, who feel that Merkel is strong-arming them into accepting Germany’s will, are likely see the call made by migrants for Merkel’s help as further proof that Berlin has encouraged people to migrate illegally into Europe.

On March 7th European leaders will meet with their Turkish counterparts to try and hammer out better cooperation on stopping the migrant flow across the Aegean Sea into Greece.

Germany has already warned that the summit is a make-or-break moment in the crisis.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Today's headlines
Left politician who smuggled refugee could lose immunity
Diether Dehm. Photo: DPA.

Die Linke (Left Party) politician Diether Dehm could lose his immunity as an elected official after he admitted to smuggling a refugee into Germany.

Merkel party leader admits sexism is a problem
Jenna Behrends complained that a member of CDU's Berlin government had called her a "big sweet mouse" in front of a large group. Photo: Sophia Kembowski/dpa

A leader of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party admitted Sunday that it has a problem with sexism in its ranks.

Ethiopia's Bekele nears record in Berlin marathon win
Participants in the Berlin marathon take to the streets on Sunday. Photo:Paul Zinken/dpa

Kenenisa Bekele narrowly missed out on the world record on Sunday as the Ethiopian won the Berlin marathon ahead of former winner Wilson Kipsang.

Europe needs deals to send migrants home: Merkel
Angela Merkal poses with Bulgaria's Prime minister Boyko Borissov (L) and Austrian chancellor Christian Kern (R) in Vienna. Photo: Joe Klamar/AFP

Europe needs to secure more deals to send rejected migrants home, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has told counterparts in Vienna.

Germany sees 'turning point' in birth rate decline
Children at a a kindergarten in Swabia. Photo: Nikolaus Lenau/Flickr

Is Germany's three-decade decline in birth rate now over?

Trump protesters rebuild and tear down 'Berlin Wall'
The 'Stop Trump' protest at the Brandenburg Gate. Photo: DPA.

US expats gathered at the Berlin's iconic Brandenburg Gate on Friday "rebuild" the Berlin Wall and protest US presidential candidate Donald Trump's own proposed wall-building.

Accusation of sexism within Merkel's party creates uproar
Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen and Chancellor Angela Merkel, two leading women in the CDU party. Photo: DPA.

A young politician from the ranks of Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has caused a storm by suggesting that the party is institutionally sexist.

EasyJet 'in talks to buy German airline' to duck Brexit
Photo: DPA

EasyJet is in talks to acquire TUIfly, a board member of the German carrier said Friday, as the British no-frills airline looks for ways to keep flying freely within the EU after Britain quits the bloc.

Symbols of migrant plight to go on show in Bonn museum
Photo: DPA

A people smugglers' car, a dinghy and a life jacket are among items related to Europe's migration crisis due to go on display at a German museum.

Brexit
Green party demand 'quick and easy' citizenship for Brits
Photo: DPA

The Green party has called for Brits living in Germany to be offered a painless path to obtaining dual citizenship as to "reassure them over the future".

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
5,644
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd