German Chancellor Angela Merkel has boasted that she would repeat her actions in 2015 which opened the gates to Europe and led to the migrant crisis.
Chancellor Merkel made her statements at an annual summer press conference in Berlin on Friday, saying she would “make essentially the same decisions” after she was asked if she had any sort of regret for opening Germany’s borders in the summer of 2015.Merkel argued that asylum seekers stuck at the frontiers of Germany or Austria “have to be treated like human beings,” France24 reports.
According to the broadcaster, Merkel has seen a surge in support domestically following the coronavirus outbreak and the German federal government’s handling of it.
But while Merkel may have favourable polling numbers over her handling of the coronavirus, the mass migration of hundreds of thousands of migrants since 2015 has not been a popular policy in Germany among large sections of the German public.
The opposition to Merkel’s migrant policy has been reflected in the rapid growth of the anti-mass migration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which went from having no seats in the German parliament in the 2013 federal election to becoming the official opposition following 2017’s national election.
Merkel’s decision was also followed by the Berlin terror attack in December of 2016 that saw bogus asylum seeker Anis Amri kill a dozen people and injure over 50 others when he hijacked a truck and drove it through a crowded Christmas market.
Murders of young women and girls by migrant men has also been a major issue in Germany since 2015, with high profile killings of young women like Maria Ladenburgerand Jewish teen Susanna Feldmann making headlines internationally.
Germany’s mass migration policies have also impacted the country’s demographics, with a report from earlier this year suggested that as many as a quarter of all German residentsnow come from migrant backgrounds.
Germany’s Federal Statistical Office stated in July that at least 26 per cent of German residents had one or more parents born outside Germany, with Turkish-background residents being the largest minority at 13 per cent of the overall population.
Merkel’s open-door policy has also been blamed for the rise in antisemitism across Germany by Hungarian foreign secretary Péter Szijjártó.
Earlier this week, Szijjártó slammed German insinuations that antisemitism was “rampant ” in Hungary, saying: “Our Jewish compatriots have no reason to be afraid.”
“Their cultural festivals don’t require the presence of soldiers armed to the teeth, their synagogues and cemeteries were rebuilt with state funding, and we were the proud hosts of the European Maccabi Games last year,” he added, suggesting German politicians should “take a look around [their] own backyard.”