Should Angela Merkel Abandon Her Refugee Policy?

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday stuck to her refusal to close the country’s border to asylum applicants despite unprecedented gains by an anti-immigrant party in state elections over the weekend… The election results heated up a war of words inside Ms. Merkel’s conservative camp and underscored a key problem for the chancellor: many supporters of her welcoming refugee policy are left-of-center voters, while her own conservative base is split. “Angela Merkel was rebuked by members of her own camp,” said Jürgen Falter, a political scientist at the University of Mainz. “Those who support her aren’t members of her camp.” – Nasdaq

“The German elections weren’t a protest against Angela Merkel’s refugee policy…Far from punishing Merkel for her refugee policy, German voters returned supporters of it. In Baden-Württemberg, the pro-migrant Greens finished first with an increased vote share (24.1 per cent to 30.3 per cent). The party’s regional leader Winfried Kretschmann backed Merkel to the point of declaring that he was “praying” for her “health and well-being”. In Rhineland-Palatinate, Christian Democratic candidate Julia Klöckner, who challenged Merkel’s stance (and was spoken of as a possible successor), was defeated by the incumbent and pro-refugee SPD” – George Eaton, The New Statesman

“Supporters of Germany’s new anti-immigration party celebrated  on Sunday after the Alternative for Germany (AfD) surged into three state assemblies with scores that would have been unthinkable only a year ago. AfD leader Andre Poggenburg, called Angela Merkel “the worst Chancellor is German history” as he celebrated his success. Formed three years ago in opposition to euro zone bailouts, the AfD has morphed into an anti-immigration party over the past year… On Sunday they had their best day ever, winning a shocking 24 percent of the vote in Saxony-Anhalt, to become the second-biggest party in the state parliament” – Allan Hall, The Express

“With no Plan B, Merkel remains steadfast on refugee policy…  “The right thing is for Europe to stick together, and to show compassion,” she said. Angela Merkel is the only leader doing so at the moment. The other heads of state either don’t know the meaning of the word… For this sentence alone, and for her steadfastness in general, Angela Merkel deserves the Nobel Peace Prize, sainthood, as well as the prayers of Baden-Württemberg’s Green state premier, Winfreid Kretschmann. In all seriousness, we should be glad that she refuses to be led astray” – Barbara Wesel, Deutsche Welle

“Sunday’s election results have demonstrated that a growing number of Germans are dissatisfied with the German government’s open door policy to refugees. The surge in support for the anti-refugee AFD party is a clear message to the government to devise a more cohesive refugee strategy. However Angela Merkel’s refusal to give an inch on this policy, in the face of this clear message from the ballot box, shows Germany will never have control of its borders unless she is removed from power” – Crystal News

Image Credit: Adriaan Joubert

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