Merkel admits regret over migrant crisis – but says she’ll do it ALL AGAIN
GERMAN Chancellor Angel Merkel has refused to back down from her controversial open-door migrant policy despite admitting it was a MISTAKE to welcome so many without a plan on how to deal with the crisis.Mrs Merkel said the system, which has put the country’s infrastructure under strain and has been attributed to a rise in crime, will “not change” - despite a majority of Germans now opposing her rule.
The Chancellor was speaking a year after she first announced Germany would be opening its doors to migrants and coined the slogan: “We can do it”.
That year, over one million people arrived in the country, while 300,000 more migrants are expected to arrive throughout 2016. Since issuing her famous migrant slogan, however, Mrs Merkel’s approval ratings have plummeted, with just 42 per cent of Germans now in favour of her running for a fourth term as Chancellor at next year’s elections. According to the same poll, 50 per cent of people oppose her running again.As well as the political coup, protests have been carried out on a weekly basis and the far right has seen an uprising in support.
Mrs Merkel also admitted making mistakes in her muddled handling of the process, from airport controls to protecting the Schengen area.
Despite this, the Hamburg-born veteran has issued a stubborn dismissal of all criticism - and said Europe was morally obliged to keep its borders wide open. She said: “So many refugees want to come to Germany or Austria or Sweden because they are treated well here, according to our values and principles.
“This is reflected in our constitution and our laws, our liberty, our democracy, in our overwhelming commitment to a social market economy. All this will not change.
“Do we stand by what out constitution says about human dignity? Do we stand by our claim to be humanitarians? Do we stand by the very core of our European and foreign policy?
“This is what it is about. We have to do it.”She issued her open borders rallying cry just days after admitting to making a litany of mistakes in her handling of the migrant crisis.
Mrs Merkel: “We said we would deal with the problem at our airports since we don't have any other external EU boundaries. But that doesn't work.
"There are political issues that one can see coming but don't really register with people at that certain moment – and in Germany we ignored both the problem for too long and blocked out the need to find a pan-European solution.“We didn't embrace the problem in an appropriate way. That goes as well for protecting the external border of the Schengen area.
“Back then, we also rejected a proportional distribution of the refugees.”But she said yesterday Germany was fixing the migrant crisis, rather than aiding it - a claim that will infuriate critics who argue the huge migrant numbers are contributing to a huge rise in crime.
She said: “We Germans ignored the problem for too long and put off the need for a European solution. “Even in 2004 and 2005 there were already so many refugees, and we left Spain and other countries at the external borders to deal with it
“Germany will remain Germany, with all that we hold most precious and dear.” express