1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Merkel visits Spain to discuss migration

August 11, 2018

Speaking alongside Spain's new prime minister, Pedro Sanchez, German Chancellor Angela Merkel advocated a "fair distribution" of migrants across the EU. She also spoke out against racism.

Chancellor Angela Merkel with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez
Image: Reuters/M. del Pozo

Speaking in southern Spain after a working lunch on Saturday, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez advocated a "fair distribution" of migrants — an approach they intend to promote at next month's EU summit in Austria. 

Merkel said "It is good to know that the German and Spanish governments have the same approach: as Europeans, we are only strong when we work together to resolve the issues of the future."

Last Monday, Spain became the first EU country to sign an agreement with Germany for the return of asylum seekers if they had lodged an asylum claim in another EU state. Merkel thanked Spain for the agreement which, she said, would bring better order to migration.

Similar bilateral agreements are being sought with Greece and Italy to stop "secondary" migration to Germany. Under EU rules, a migrant has to register in the first EU state of their arrival from outside the bloc.

African cooperation

The chancellor also said Germany wanted "close, real cooperation with African countries from which both sides can win." She added "We must not talk about, but with Africa."

"We have to intensify our support for Morocco and Tunisia," Merkel said. "They are border countries and they need our help."

Fighting racism

Merkel also spoke out against racism: "No country can be exempt from this challenge," Merkel said. "The racist tendencies we are seeing, regrettably, in all member countries are something we have to fight against."

The Spanish and German premiers with their spouses
Image: picture alliance/dpa/E. Briones

The chancellor's two-day visit is expected to include discussions on economic and monetary reform in the EU, the recent NATO summit and European defense.

A visit the nearby Donana national park is due to be part of Merkel's Spanish visit.

Refugee crisis in Spain

jm/tj (dpa)

Each evening at 1830 UTC, DW's editors send out a selection of the day's hard news and quality feature journalism. You can sign up to receive it directly here.