A migrant family stand on the beach, as they just arrived, with other refugees and migrants, on the Greek island of Lesbos, on October 7, 2015, after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday Europe needs to rewrite its "obsolete" asylum rules to tackle the refugee crisis as European warships went into action against people smugglers in the Mediterranean.Merkel made the call in a speech with French President Francois Hollande to the European Parliament – the first such joint address since the fall of the Berlin Wall – in which they urged the increasingly divided EU to unite to tackle a wave of problems including migration and the war in Syria.German authorities said Wednesday they had registered around 577,000 asylum-seekers in the first nine months of the year, a third of whom claim to be Syrian.The last time the leaders of France and Germany stood together in the Parliament was 26 years ago when Francois Mitterrand and Helmut Kohl gave a similar speech just weeks after the Berlin Wall fell.Around 3,000 people have died making the perilous crossing over the Mediterranean to Europe this year.
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