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Lagarde: 'Make or Break' Point for Schengen

  • VOA News

Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, speaks during a panel "The Global Economic Outlook" at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 23, 2016.

Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, speaks during a panel "The Global Economic Outlook" at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 23, 2016.

The chief of the International Monetary Fund says she believes Europe’s refugee crisis is placing the continent’s cherished Schengen zone at risk.

Christine Lagarde, the IMF managing director, said Saturday the swelling number of refugees in Europe has pushed the Schengen agreement to “a make or break” point.

When asked at the World Economic Forum in Davos if the crisis put the Schengen area in peril, Lagarde said, “Yes, I think so.”

The Schengen area is comprised of 26 European countries that have mutually decided to eliminate passport and immigration controls at their joint borders, enabling the citizens of the Schengen zone countries to travel internationally without any limitations.

Europe is facing its worst economic crisis since World War II. Almost a million refugees have reached Germany alone.

FILE - Migrants queue on a street to enter the compound outside the Berlin Office of Health and Social Affairs (LAGESO) for their registration process in Berlin, Germany, Dec. 9, 2015.

FILE - Migrants queue on a street to enter the compound outside the Berlin Office of Health and Social Affairs (LAGESO) for their registration process in Berlin, Germany, Dec. 9, 2015.

Many of the migrants, looking for a better life, are escaping war and poverty in Middle Eastern and African countries.

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