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Germany And Spain Agree On The Need For A Common European Asylum Policy

World Affairs

Open Eyes Opinion {source: DEgov}


Spain’s Prime Minister Visits Germany


For a common European policy on asylum




The Chancellor and the Spanish Prime Minister have agreed on the need for a common European policy on asylum. At the subsequent German-Spanish business forum the Chancellor praised Spain’s successful economic reforms.

The talks between Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy also looked at the current situation in the European Union. And they discussed the situation in Ukraine, Libya and Syria.

Much of their talks was dedicated to European policy on asylum-seekers. A common policy on asylum must be enforced, said the Chancellor. Member states and the European Commission have a responsibility here.

For common policy on asylum and refugees

Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed the importance of a common European asylum policy. “We agree that the common European asylum policy must be enforced.” The Commission should identify safe countries of origin and set up joint registration centres in Greece and Italy.

Migrants who are not granted the right to stay should be returned to their home countries, said Angela Merkel. There is agreement that, “refugees fleeing wars should be allocated fairly to the various EU member states on the basis of the economic strength and performance of each member state”. This is a shared position, she said.

Chancellor Angela Merkel initially welcomed the Spanish Prime Minister to Schloss Meseberg on Monday (31 August), where they had the opportunity to talk in an informal setting at the guesthouse of the German government. Angela Merkel described their discussions as “very worthwhile, very important”.

“Reforms pay off,” says Chancellor

Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Spain’s reforms have been well worth the effort. She expects to see sound growth rates now. Many new jobs are being created, which are helping Europe emerge from the crisis. This demonstrates that “reforms are worth the effort and that they pay off”.

Angela Merkel pointed to the many economic links between Spain and Germany. She mentioned the efforts made to tackle youth unemployment and the vocational training measures that have been put in place. She underlined the fact that both countries support the European initiatives to fight unemployment and increase investment.

Diplomacy in the face of international crises

With a view to Syria, the Chancellor noted that diplomatic efforts must be stepped up to bring the civil war to an end. With respect to Libya, she underlined the importance of rapidly putting in place state structures. In this context Angela Merkel mentioned the Presidency of the UN Security Council, which Spain will soon be assuming.

German-Spanish business forum

Mariano Rajoy’s visit to Germany ended with a German-Spanish business forum at the Haus der Deutschen Wirtschaft in Berlin which he attended with Angela Merkel. At the forum the Chancellor again praised Spain’s progress with reforms. “This year Spain expects to see a growth rate of over 3 per cent, which makes it one of the fastest growing economies in Europe and of course in the euro zone,” said Angela Merkel. “Quite honestly, we in Germany can learn from Spain.”

Angela Merkel also raised the problem of unemployment, especially youth unemployment in Spain. She did, however, point out that the unemployment rate in Spain has dropped faster in Spain than in almost any other EU member state since mid-2014.

German industry counting on Spain

“German industry is counting on Spain, and is well aware of the prospects offered in Spain, which it sees as positive,” said Angela Merkel. “The reforms that have been undertaken over the last few years are having an impact.” The general conditions for businesses are better, unit labour costs are down, international competitiveness improved and the financial sector has undergone a radical restructuring. Lending is now easier – and these are good conditions for a dynamic economy.

Germany is Spain’s second largest trading partner, after France. In 2014 German-Spanish trade was worth 59.9 billion euros, 8.7 per cent up on the 2013 figure. In 2014 Germany exported goods worth 34.9 billion euros to Spain, marking an 11.4 per cent increase over the previous year. Over the same period Spanish exports to Germany totalled 25 billion euros, 5.8 per cent up on 2013. The deficit for Spain is largely offset by the spending of German tourists.

In 2014 alone 10.4 million Germans visited Spain.


[photo credits: “Bavarian Alps 2002” by Melancholia_i (talk) (Uploads) – Own work. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons –]


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