Countries that fail to take part in the quota scheme for assigning asylum seekers around the European Union could themselves be denied help in other areas, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Sunday.

"If there is no solidarity on migration, neither will there be in other areas -- and that would be bitter for European cohesion," Merkel told weekly newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

The chancellor's comments read like a warning to eastern European countries, who receive billions of euros in net benefits from EU membership -- unlike net contributor countries such as Germany.

Eastern governments last week reacted angrily to a court decision requiring them to accept a share of asylum seekers from overstretched Greece and Italy.

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