October 8, 2015 / 10:01 AM / 2 years ago

German economy minister says we have no drawbridge to lift in refugee crisis

WOLFSBURG, Germany (Reuters) - German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Thursday that there was no drawbridge that could be pulled up to stop refugees arriving in Germany and it was unrealistic to close the borders.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel (L) attend a meeting of German state leaders to discuss the migrant crisis, at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, September 24, 2015. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

“We do not have a drawbridge we can lift,” he said, adding people are coming due to a the dramatic situation in Syria.

“Closing the borders, someone would have to tell us how that’s supposed to work. Are we going to have the army there, with bayonets at the ready? Nobody would do that,” he said, adding the causes of flight, hunger and misery had to be fought.

“And we need to cooperate with Turkey because we cannot just abandon refugees there. They need to be helped and Turkey needs German and European help there, which we are offering.”

Reporting by Markus Wacket; Editing by Caroline Copley

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