Merkel Says Talks with Greece on Taking Back Asylum Seekers Well Underway

Angela Merkel told the media on Monday that talks with Greece on re-admitting asylum-seekers from Germany’s borders were well underway.

In comments reported by the Associated Press, the German Chancellor said direct talks with Greek premier Alexis Tsipras were not on the agenda yet.

Last month, Berlin said an agreement with Greece for the return of previously-registered refugees currently in Germany would be completed by the end of July.

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen had suggested that such a deal with Greece may be signed by the end of the month.

However, last week Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said Germany would unilaterally turn back asylum-seekers who had already been granted asylum in other EU countries.

Germany has also struck a deal on the issue with Spain for Madrid to take back asylum-seekers and is currently talking to Italy’s leadership about the issue also.