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Merkel secures agreements with 14 EU states on refugees

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, under pressure at home for her liberal asylum policies, has managed to secure bilateral agreements with 14 European Union countries on how to handle refugees.

According to Press TV, Merkel, who struggles to placate conservative allies in Bavaria, sent a document to leaders of her coalition partners on Saturday. She listed 14 EU states which had agreed to take back refugees.

The document purportedly outlines a mechanism through which Germany and EU states can bilaterally agree on more effective mechanisms for the deportation of refugees.

According to such a process, Germany could better persuade countries that had originally accepted refugees at EU borders to take back the asylum seekers based on the Dublin Convention, which stipulates that refugees must lodge their requests in the first EU country they set foot in.

“We will sign administrative agreements with various member states… to speed the repatriation process and remove obstacles,” said the document. “At the moment, Dublin repatriations from Germany succeed in only 15 percent of cases.”

EU countries agreed in a mini summit of leaders last weekend to take in refugees on a voluntary basis and create “controlled centers” inside the EU to process asylum requests. Some members, like Italy, which is now governed by a populist administration, have threatened to veto any deal in an upcoming summit in the Belgian capital, Brussels, that forces the members to accept refugees.

Merkel has also been pressured by German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, who leads Bavaria’s Christian Social Union, to come up with a permanent EU-wide solution to the issue of refugees.

Merkel indicated this week that the European Union was yet far from reaching a comprehensive agreement on how to handle the refugee crisis in the continent.

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