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The Latest: Germany Seeks to Calm Down Dispute over Asylum

  • Associated Press

Migrants and refugees wait in a queue to be allowed to pass from the northern Greek village of Idomeni to southern Macedonia, Nov. 9, 2015.

Migrants and refugees wait in a queue to be allowed to pass from the northern Greek village of Idomeni to southern Macedonia, Nov. 9, 2015.

The latest news as tens of thousands of people fleeing war or poverty make their way across Europe. All times local.

2 p.m.
The German government is downplaying a Cabinet split over proposals to restrict the rights of Syrian refugees.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere surprised colleagues last week by declaring that many Syrians should get a lesser form of protection, renewable each year and without the right to bring relatives to Germany for two years.
The plan prompted sharp criticism, not least because it hadn't been discussed with other members of Germany's coalition government. It was quickly withdrawn.

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Monday that de Maiziere continues to have the full confidence of Chancellor Angela Merkel. He added even though the rules for Syrians hadn't been changed, processing the huge number of people seeking asylum in Germany currently takes precedence over family reunions.
1:05 p.m.
Migrants are facing long waits to cross Greece's border with Macedonia after a four-day ferry strike ended, easing a bottleneck on the country's eastern Aegean islands, where the vast majority of people arrive from nearby Turkey.

Police said 6,950 people crossed the border in the last day up to Monday morning, while thousands more were hoping to cross Monday as waiting times were reaching 18 hours.

About 4,500 people were waiting in a queue of 90 buses early Monday morning, while another 1,500 were waiting in tents that have been set up in the Idomeni border area. Unseasonably warm weather meant conditions were good.

Macedonian authorities, following the standard practice of the past few months, were allowing groups of 50 people to cross every 10 to 15 minutes.
Syrian Raafat Lord, 23, from Aleppo, said his group had been waiting in "buses for 12 hours and another three hours in the tents."

The camp has been set up on the border to provide facilities for those waiting, including tents, food, water, showers and areas for mothers with young babies. Donated clothes are also available.
12:30 p.m.
Sweden says a record number of 10,201 asylum-seekers arrived in the country last week, bringing the total so far this year to more than 122,000.
The Migration Agency said Monday it was the first time since records began that the number of asylum-seekers arriving in Sweden exceeded 10,000 during seven days. Among them were 2,827 unaccompanied minors — also a new seven-day record.

More than 4,300 of the new arrivals came from Afghanistan, followed by some 2,720 from Syria and 1,400 from Iraq.

Last week, Sweden said it will request to transfer some migrants to other European countries under an EU relocation plan because migration authorities were overstretched by the large influx. About 160,000 asylum-seekers are expected this year, making Sweden the highest recipient of asylum-seekers per capita in the 28-nation bloc, according to government officials.