Published: Wed, August 30, 2017
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Germany will be harsh with holiday refugees, says Angela Merkel

Germany will be harsh with holiday refugees, says Angela Merkel

"Some believe the problems in Germany can be fixed by screaming - but I don't think so and the majority of the people here don't think so either", said Merkel, who is seeking a fourth term in office and is the heavy favorite to win the September 24 election.

Merkel's poll numbers rebounded as the influx ebbed to 280,000 past year, restricted by border closures along the so-called Balkan route and a refugee accord between the European Union and Turkey.

"I take this very seriously", said Dr Merkel.

"I think that we're in a much better position today than we were a year ago, when I was a lot more anxious and I wish Greece every success", Merkel said.

"In spite of that, it is necessary to continue negotiations on the possibility of a [political] transition that would facilitate reconciliation", Merkel stated.

Support for Merkel's Christian Democratic-led bloc declined 1 percentage point to 38 percent while her main opponent, the Social Democrats led by challenger Martin Schulz, also fell 1 point to 23 percent, according to a weekly Emnid poll for Bild am Sonntag newspaper. "Of course, all this makes me sad, but it is a necessary step", Merkel said. She is expected to be comfortably returned as the country's leader, though the right-wing populist AfD is also expected to have MPs elected to the Bundestag for the first time.

In an interview yesterday, discussing her response to the refugee crisis, the Chancellor said she would do everything "the same way again" if she had the opportunity.

"I still have the strength and the curiosity [to lead]", she said. In both cases, the demonstrators expressed their discontent with Merkel's refugee policy, which they said had failed.

The five countries first introduced the checks as a record wave of refugees and migrants from Syria and other Middle East countries and from Africa streamed across Europe.

"You have to live with it", Merkel said of the protests.

At least one reporter wanted to know why Merkel only appeared once a year for a major press conference on her own, accusing the chancellor of being more media shy than President Donald Trump or Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In Saturday's speech Merkel made it clear that refugees were welcome in Germany even though she conceded there could not be a repeat of the influx.

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