Monday, August 28, 2017

Merkel takes tougher stand on Muslim migrants ahead of election

Angela Merkel is the queen of flip-flop. She once said to “respond to jihad massacres with love and compassion”; on another occasion, when she was losing voter support, she called for a burqa ban, and said the refugee crisis “must never be repeated.” Then in mid-August, she called for more migrants, “echoing her ‘wir schaffen das’ [‘we can do this’] mantra from the beginning of the migrant crisis.” Now, two weeks later, Angela Merkel is back to taking a tough stance on refugees:
With a month to election day, German chancellor Angela Merkel has ramped up her refugee-critical rhetoric in a bid to pull back far-right voters, boost her Bavarian allies and win over a record number of undecideds.
Last year, “four attacks in a week — three of them carried out by asylum seekers …left Germany on edge and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s policies of welcoming refugees under renewed criticism.” Merkel has made it abundantly clear that her priority is remaining in power, not the safety and/or well-being of the German people.

“Angela Merkel takes a tougher refugee line ahead of election”, The Irish Times, August 27, 2017:
With a month to election day, German chancellor Angela Merkel has ramped up her refugee-critical rhetoric in a bid to pull back far-right voters, boost her Bavarian allies and win over a record number of undecideds.
The chancellor used weekend interviews and rallies to stand by her 2015 decision that saw almost one million asylum seekers arrive in the country. She said she would decide the same way again, but insisted that events of 2015 “must not be repeated”. Aware of huge public unease over the refugee crisis, and related terror attacks since, she signalled Germany would demand an extension of border checks on the border with Austria, a Schengen suspension requiring EU approval.
Ahead of an Africa summit on Monday, with leaders of African nations as well as France, Italy and Spain, Dr Merkel said the border checks should “be kept in place until the security services tell us they are not necessary”. She also took a tough line on reports that people granted asylum in Germany had returned to their homeland on holidays.
“Having a holiday in a country were one is persecuted is not on,” she said. “If this happens it can be reason to reconsider the asylum decision.” She disputed claims that she had “opened” Germany’s borders to refugees in the summer of 2015. When large numbers of asylum seekers walked from Hungary through Austria to Bavaria, she pointed out that “Germany’s borders were open and we decided not to close them”.
Asylum rules
However, she conceded she had been mistaken to rely on the Dublin EU asylum rules, which require asylum applications to be filed in the first EU country a person enters. She vowed to keep up pressure to reform the asylum rules, as it was not fair that Italy and Greece “carry the burden alone because of their geographical location”.
As the refugee crisis takes its place in the German election debate, Dr Merkel’s tougher line is a bid to win back defectors from her Christian Democratic Union (CDU)…..

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