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Angela Merkel ‘firmly rejects’ call to change German refugee policy

German Chancellor Angela Merkel addresses a news conference in Berlin. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke.

Angela Merkel ‘firmly rejects’ call to change German refugee policy

German chancellor Angela Merkel has staunchly defended her open-door policy towards refugees saying she feels no guilt over a series of violent attacks in her country.

“A rejection of the humanitarian stance we took could have led to even worse consequences,” the German chancellor said.

Within a week Germany has been rocked by the attacks including an axe attack on a train,  a machete attack in which a pregnant woman was killed, a mass shooting in Munich that left nine dead and a suicide bomb in Ansbach. Three of the attacks were carried out by refugees and two – the axe attack and suicide bombing – were thought to have an extremist motive.

Merkel said the assailants “wanted to undermine our sense of community, our openness and our willingness to help people in need. We firmly reject this.”

She said the attacks were carried out by people who had “sought protection in Germany – or at least made out that they sought protection” and were an “affront to the country that took them in, and an affront to all those who have volunteered to help them, as well as to the many law-abiding refugees”.

Merkel said, however, Germany was a strong country.

“I didn’t say it would be easy. I said back then, and I’ll say it again, that we can manage our historic task – and this is a historic test in times of globalisation – just as we’ve managed so much already, we can manage it.”

 

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