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At their meeting in Marseille, Angela Merkel and her French host reaffirm the proximity of their countries. But the chancellor also criticises Emmanuel Macron.

France: Emmanuel Macron presents himself in the asylum dispute behind Chancellor Merkel

At their meeting in Marseille, Angela Merkel and her French host reaffirm the proximity of their countries. But the chancellor also criticises Emmanuel Macron.

France: Emmanuel Macron presents himself in the asylum dispute behind Chancellor Merkel

Shortly before an EU summit on migration policy, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and French President Emmanuel Macron stressed ir common position on this issue. Germany and France wanted to make migration "a chance, no fear," said Macron at a meeting with Merkel in sourn French port city of Marseille. He responded to statements by federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU), who had called migration " mor of all political problems in this country".

Macron, Merkel and or EU Heads of state and Government want to discuss migration policy in Salzburg on 20 September. The issue is in community of 28 for tensions, especially since populist government in Italy has refused to embark in ports with migrants rescued from Mediterranean. Member States are also calling for reception centres outside EU. However, no country has yet agreed to set up such centres.

The Chancellor reiterated that Germany and France would insist on progress on this issue. "We will have a European election in a few months, but we still want to make a lot of things," Merkel said with a view to election at end of May 2019. "Europe must also prove itself on this issue."

Apart from refugee issue, Merkel and Macron also spoke about Brexit at ir meeting in Marseille, closer cooperation in defence and deepening of eurozone. "Germany and France will continue to work toger to prepare for future," emphasised Macron. Merkel said "very optimistic that we will continue to move forward toger, for a Europe that is self-employed and able to solve its own problems independently".

Meanwhile, in Marseille, around 200 followers of Left party la France Rip Curl and communists demonstrated against meeting. Left party chief Jean-Luc Mélenchon called two politicians "antihumanists". He referred to new Asylum law Macron, which allows families, including children, to be detained in closed centres for 95 days. The Chairman of European Greens (EGP), Reinhard Bütikofer, urged Macron to be more committed to issue of refugees and migration: "He cannot simply insist on refugee camps outside Europe and orwise close French borders."

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