Will Merkel’s Open Door Policy Cost her the German Chancellorship?
As September 24th, the day elections in Germany will take place, quickly approaches– German Chancellor Angela Merkel is campaigning for her fourth term.
Although she is comfortably ahead in the polls, she continues to receive tremendous criticism for her open door policy that let 1 million migrants in the country in 2015.
On Saturday, protesters attended her campaign speech in the eastern town of Quedlinburg and continued to shout during the entire 30-minutes that she addressed the 1,500 people in the crowd.
They chanted phrases like “Liar, liar” and “Merkel just go!” causing her to deviate from her speech three times.
“I hope you were able to understand some of that even though some of you out there kept on yelling,” said Merkel on Saturday. “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. Some people can’t do anything else but scream and shout – but we’re not going to let them lead us astray.”
Merkel has only appeared in eastern Germany twice during her campaign trail. This is an area with high anti-Merkel sentiment with many being part of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, an anti-immigration party that has gain traction in the last few years.
“Merkel’s open-borders stance depressed her approval ratings last year and spurred the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany party after a record number of 980,000 asylum seekers, many of them fleeing war in Syria, arrived in Germany in 2015. Critics included U.S. President Donald Trump, who called Merkel’s policy a “catastrophic mistake” in an interview with European media,” writes Bloomberg.
Many blame Merkel for the spike in terror attacks in Germany in the last two years, but the chancellor continues to defend her open border refugee policy.
“I would make all of the important decisions of 2015 the same way again,” said Merkel in a Welt am Sonntag newspaper interview this weekend.
Although she eventually attempted to stop the bleeding by deporting 215,000 migrants in 2016, she made it clear on Saturday that refugees are still welcome.
“Diversity makes us strong in Germany and that’s something we want to maintain,” said Merkel. However, she did say that the 2015 influx of migrants will not be repeated.
Could Merkel lose?
“Mrs. Merkel’s main rival, the SDP’s Martin Schulz is hoping to pull off a Jeremy Corbyn -style surprise and is borrowing the Labour leader’s tactics of mass rallies and campaign events,” writes Mirror. “But the bearded Mr. Schulz, a former president of the EU parliament, has yet to make a sizeable dent in Mrs. Merkel’s poll lead.”
Author’s note: The elections will be here before we know it. Even though we are seeing substantial pushback to Merkel, we aren’t sure that this is enough resistance to beat her. Nonetheless, the damage from her open door policy is already done. Germany now has huge problems.
Editor’s note: Just to remind you, that is 1 million immigrants added to a population that is only about 83 million to start with, in an area slightly smaller than Montana. It has truly turned into a pressure cooker.