EU countries should spend billions of euros to build up crisis countries to reduce the flow of refugees to Europe, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Thursday at the World Economic Forum in Davos. He said the effort for the migrant crisis could be modeled on the U.S. Marshall Plan, which was implemented after World War II, in which Washington spent more than $12 billion to support Western Europe's post-war reconstruction.
"What is most important is for us to invest billions in those regions from which the refugees come to reduce the pressure on the external frontiers of Europe," Schaeuble said in a public discussion with several EU prime ministers. "That will cost Europe much more than we thought," he added.
The other Davos panelists, including premiers Mark Rutte from the Netherlands, France's Manuel Valls and Greece's Alexis Tsipras, did not react to Schaeuble's comments.
Rutte, whose country currently presides over the European Union, said the goal of the EU over the next weeks must be to improve cooperation with Turkey to stem the inflow of migrants to Greece, to set up hot spot reception centers at external EU borders and to implement the planned relocation of refugees across the bloc.
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