Merkel warns Trump against trade war over car tariffs threat

Germany's Merkel says migration deal is no about-turn

Germany's Merkel says migration deal is no about-turn

Italy's anti-migrant interior minister wants tighter criteria for granting humanitarian protection to migrants rescued at sea.

"That is an ongoing process", the spokesman said.

He told reporters Thursday only "pregnant women, children and refugees" who are granted asylum among rescued migrants should remain in Italy.

Taking aim at Trump over his complaint that the European Union, and in particular economic powerhouse Germany, is running a massive trade surplus against the US, Merkel said that his calculation is skewed as it is based only on goods, not services.

Separately, Merkel said she wanted to protect Europe's "humanity" in dealing with migrants, spelling out her differences with Hungary's prime minister, Viktor Orbán, at a press conference in Berlin.

At the time, Orban railed against Merkel's "moral imperialism" while the chancellor, who grew up in communist East Germany, said she had seen enough walls in Europe for a lifetime.

Orban responded that Hungary's position hasn't changed since it closed its borders to migrants during the influx of 2015.

Orban said that "the only solution" was "the closure of borders and help people" in their own countries and refusing entry of people who "bring trouble".

The German solution, however, is dependent on bilateral agreements with European Union states to take back asylum seekers who previously registered in their countries.

About 56,000 migrants have arrived in Europe so far this year, the International Organization for Migration says.

Forfang said Thursday that "most of them" have been granted protection in the past.

In a June 27 letter to the European Commission, German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer diverged from Berlin's official policy to argue that "ensuring the security of citizens in Europe should take precedence over all other aspects of (Britain's) exit negotiations", the FT reported.

At a hastily arranged meeting in Vienna with the Austrian chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, Seehofer sought support from Germany's southern neighbour for a controversial border agreement he had reached with the German chancellor, Angela Merkel.

They also agreed to establish transit centers to send asylum seekers directly to the responsible countries.

The plan was agreed earlier this week to save conservative German Chancellor Angela Merkel's fragile three-party coalition only three months after it had taken office.

Seehofer told Parliament that "they will be very hard talks" and "there will be no agreements in the first round".

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