Germany's Angela Merkel: 'Refugees must be distributed fairly'

Germany's Angela Merkel: 'Refugees must be distributed fairly'

Germany's Angela Merkel: 'Refugees must be distributed fairly'

Sanctions on Russian Federation will be lifted once Moscow agrees to sign a ceasefire agreement with Ukraine, said German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Since 2015, when Merkel introduced her open-door policy, around 1 million asylum-seekers have arrived in Germany, putting a strain on its social welfare system and sparking a rise in anti-migrant sentiment as well as opening deep rifts within German society.

"If campaigning means to some that it's only good when two sides are screaming at each other, then that's not what I have in mind when it comes to campaigning", Merkel told a packed room of reporters in Berlin on Tuesday.

With a double-digit lead against her socialist rival Martin Schulz, Merkel remains media's favorite to win the September 24 vote.

Her Christian Democrats (CDU) now has a 13-per-cent-point electoral lead on their main challenger, the Social Democrats (SPD).

She did not speak out on migrants or Turkey, but she said, also on Sunday in an interview with Die Welt, a German newspaper, that she did not regret opening Germany's doors to refugees at the height of the migration crisis.

She added that Germany would not support the widening of a customs union agreement with Turkey and the EU "so long as the situation remains as it is".

The politicking prompted a rebuke by the association of German machine builders, which said the auto industry's future requires a strategy, not "campaign-driven headlines".

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He said Merkel had done too little to make other European Union states take in asylum seekers from Greece and Italy, but his main foreign policy gripe was her handling of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"That some countries refuse to accept any refugees is not on".

She said: "We're a democracy and everyone can freely express themselves in public the way they want".

Merkel says "this is a very complicated phase of our relationship" with Turkey. "Our demand is very clear: That the people who have been arrested there are released", she said.

Turkey has arrested about 10 Germans in recent months on charges the German government considers dubious.

29 at a Berlin press conference that she wanted to have better relations with Turkey, but the relationship between Berlin and Ankara was now at "a very complicated phase".

Mrs Merkel said it was unfair that Greece and Italy were left on their own carrying the full burden of the refugee crisis "simply because of their geography".

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