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Germany's Merkel says ties with Turkey in a 'complicated phase'

Germany's Merkel says ties with Turkey in a 'complicated phase'”

Chancellor Angela Merkel cracked open the door to collective lawsuits against Germany's auto industry over excessively polluting diesel engines, sharpening her tone after her main election challenger accused her of blocking the option.

Merkel said at her annual summer news conference ahead of a general election that steps had been taken in the wake of that decision to ensure that such an influx would not repeat itself.

As Merkel runs for a fourth term in Germany's September 24 election on a platform of defending European Union values, she joined French President Emmanuel Macron in criticizing Poland for a government push to encroach on the courts. Her conservative Christian Democrats are far ahead of the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) in latest opinion polls.

Merkel also touched on the European Commission's recent criticism of EU member Poland over judicial reforms, saying she took the Commission's criticism of Poland "very seriously" and would discuss the issue with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on August 30.

He also compared her to former German chancellor Helmut Kohl, who like Merkel, spent more than a decade in office.

"I've already mentioned Martin Schulz at least once so that you wouldn't say that", Merkel responded, when asked about her reticence.

More than a million people from across Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East entered Germany two years ago when Mrs Merkel opened her country's doors to Syrian refugees. And I have to say that we cannot simply go back and do business as usual with the auto industry. This center would be in Egypt, a transit country for migrants striving to reach Europe.

In the eastern town of Quedlinburg on Saturday, she tried to engage the voters but unfortunately the people just couldn't forget the type of damage Merkel has brought to the nation.

The Chancellor was booed as she ascended the stage and the outbursts continued.

Turning to foreign policy, Merkel called on Turkey to release German citizens swept up in the aftermath of last year's failed coup attempt, calling their imprisonment "unjustified".

"This is a very complicated phase of our relationship" with Turkey, Merkel said.

"... The rule of law in Poland - that's a serious issue because the requirements for cooperation within the European Union are the principles of the rule of law", she said. Merkel added that she would address the issue "in detail" with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker when he visits Germany on Wednesday.



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