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Germany, Spain reached agreement over returning migrants

Germany, Spain reached agreement over returning migrants

Germany and Spain have found a common language during the bilateral talks in June. The issue of migrants inside the EU can be settled, said Spain’s Interior Ministry on Wednesday. The bilateral agreement between two European countries sees Spain and Germany as partners in the curbing new arrivals of migrants, TheLocal said.

A bilateral agreement reached by Germany and Spain means that Germany will be able to return asylum claimants registered in Spain “within 48 hours” of them being picked up in Germany. On this Saturday, the document will come into force.

Eleonore Petermann, an interior ministry spokeswoman, hailed Spain’s willingness to co-operate on a migrant crisis and underlined that Madrid had not demanded any conditions in return.

Germany’s government are still in discussions over similar agreements with Greece and Italy. The government was already in agreement with Austria about returning migrants, and required no official accord with Vienna, said Ms Petermann, while Interior Minister Horst Seehofer had indicated that he wanted to achieve clarity on the issue by the end of July or the beginning of August.

The German-Spanish migrant accord is part of a series of bilateral agreements that Germany is seeking with EU partners after a broader accord for the bloc proved elusive.

Bilateral negotiations with other EU nations are part of the compromise reached in a bitter dispute over asylum policy which threatened to topple the German government this summer. At the height of the quarrel in June, Seehofer briefly stepped down, before almost immediately retracting his resignation.