Yesterday German voters in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saxony-Anhalt made it clear that they disapproved of Merkel’s open door refugee policy.
“Yesterday was a hard day for the CDU,” said Merkel following a meeting with the party leaders.
The anti-immigrant and far-Right, Alternative for Germany (AfD) party won double-digit backing in two western regions, leaving two major disappointments for Merkel’s conservatives. The AfD formed just three years ago and in the past year, the party has gained major support with its anti-immigration campaign with slogans like “Secure the borders” and “Stop the asylum chaos.”
As the influx of refugees becomes more linked with violent crimes, Merkel’s defiance to close the borders, is causing her supporters to jump ship. The outrage from the German public is evident from Merkel’s devastating outcome Sunday.
There were 1.1 million migrants who registered as asylum-seekers in Germany last year. The country continues to been one of the few European countries to keep the open policy in place.
Merkel has condemned the Balkan states for closing its borders. Last Thursday, Merkel defended the open door policy by insisting that imposing a limit on refugee numbers was only a short-term fix. She argues that the only way to bring down the numbers is with a “concerted European approach.” However, other EU countries have not agreed with her “solutions,” claiming that no-limits on refugees encourage mass immigration.
So, did this major upset in the election sway her refugee policy? When asked if the policy should be overhauled CDU general secretary Peter Tauber said “I don’t see that need.” Nonetheless, 12% of voters in Germany’s electorate made their message loud and clear. If a resolution isn’t found soon, next year’s national elections may not be a slam dunk for Merkel. Could this evidently lead to her downfall?