NEWS

Berlin offers Greece help with refugee influx, as Merkel calls for European plan

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The German government says it has offered to help Greece cope with migrants camped at its borders but points out Athens hasn’t yet requested assistance.

A spokesman for the Interior Ministry says Germany’s disaster response agency THW stands ready to assist with water preparation and provide technical and logistical support for camp construction.

Asked by reporters in Berlin on Friday why Germany had so far only provided limited assistance to Greece, spokesman Johannes Dimroth said that “it's not the case that we’re not prepared to help.”

He added that “on the contrary the available services and resources … have been offered and need to be requested by the Greek side. That hasn't happened yet.”

Government spokeswoman Christiane Wirtz said EU leaders would discuss the “dramatic situation in Greece” in Brussels on Monday.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said it’s counterproductive for European countries to implement individual measures in response to the migrant crisis.

She said border slowdowns and closures have just meant that migrants are now piling up in Greece, overwhelming the country’s resources.

Merkel is pushing for a European solution, and said Friday while meeting with French President Francois Hollande in Paris that “unilateral solutions do not help us.”

She said Europe needs to work closely with Turkey to stop the flow of migrants, and also to secure its outer borders so that it knows who is entering, and that movement within Europe is not restricted.

[AP]