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Schulz accuses EU of 'egotism'

August 31, 2015

EU Parliament President Schulz has called out EU states on Monday for selfish "egotism" in the acceptance and relocation of refugees. He blamed a lack of European solidarity for the disorganization of the refugee crisis.

European Parliament President Martin Schulz
Image: picture alliance/ZUMA Press/J. Raa

European Parliament President Martin Schulz heavily criticized several EU states on Monday for their unwillingness to accept refugees.

"We are currently experiencing national egotism in its purest form," criticized Schulz in an interview with Deutschlandfunk on Monday morning.

Schulz estimated that 90 percent of all refugees were being accepted by a total of nine countries out of the 28 EU member states. “The vast majority of countries in the EU are taking in just ten percent of the refugees. It doesn't work like that,” urged Schulz.

Infografik Asylbewerber EU Länder vergleich mit Deutschland Englisch

A divided front

Numerous EU states bristled at recommendations for concrete refugee distribution quotas, including eastern European states, Great Britain, Ireland and Denmark. Many of these states wish to deal with the refugee problem on a national level, rather than on an EU level

Schulz wondered if this trend of pick-and-choose politics in the EU could hold out in the long run. He said the opposing stances seem "cynical," especially when taking into consideration the daily sorrows and dangers facing refugees.

"The Mediterranean Sea is becoming a mass grave, horrific scenes are playing out on the borders, there is a blame game going on, and above all, people who are seeking our protection are not being helped," he said in Monday's edition of the German daily "Die Welt."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a fast and fair distribution of asylum seekers on Sunday. Germany is one of the EU countries most impacted by the influx of refugees. The interior ministers of Germany, France and Britain have called for an urgent meeting to discuss concrete solutions to the crisis.

rs/jil (epd, Reuters)