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Politico: Merkel criticizes Hungary’s migration policy

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel (pictured) voiced criticism of eastern European countries, and Hungary in particular, in a closed-door meeting with members of the center-right European People’s Party on Wednesday, portal politico.com reported based on a recording of the session that the site obtained from a group member.

“The eastern Europeans — and I’m counting myself as an eastern European — we have experienced that isolation doesn’t help,” Merkel said, according to the site. “It makes me a bit sad that precisely those who can consider themselves lucky that they have lived to see the end of the Cold War now think that one can completely stay out of certain developments of globalization.”

Merkel also reportedly commented on how Germany has taken refugees from Hungary, and on Hungaryʼs anti-refugee fences. “Yes, we have helped Hungary, … I’m also being criticized for that in Germany. We have helped Hungary because we have thought that one had to save Europe’s dignity,” the chancellor was quoted as saying. “The refugees won’t be stopped if we just build fences. That I’m deeply convinced of, and I’ve lived behind a fence for long enough.”

Merkel also made a reference to statements by Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who has said that Muslim refugees pose a threat to “Christian Europe”.

“When someone says: ‘This is not my Europe, I won’t accept Muslims….’ Then I have to say, this is not negotiable,” Merkel reportedly said. “Who are we to defend Christians around the world if we say we won’t accept a Muslim or a mosque in our country. That won’t do.”

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