One by one German Chancellor Angela’s Merkel’s political allies are questioning her touch. Ever since she announced to a startled world in mid-September that Germany would take anywhere up to 800,000 refugees from war-torn Syria and Iraq, Merkel seemed to rise above any criticism of the decision.
That tide is beginning to turn and Merkel’s problems are building at home. Breitbart London today reports that her popularity in the polls is dropping as “German UKIP” is rising.
It doesn’t end there.
Wolfgang Schäuble, Merkel’s finance minister, said in an interview with broadcaster ZDF on Sunday that Europe needed to restrict the number of people coming to the continent. “We need to limit the influx to Europe,” he said. “We can’t manage this task at a national level anymore.”
“The EU will do that very quickly now, above all with Turkey,” Schäuble added.
Lorenz Caffier, of Merkel’s own Christian Democrat Union (CDU), added his voice when he claimed that as many as 1.5 million refugees could arrive in Germany by the end of this year. He told the “Welt am Sonntag” newspaper that many of the federal states were “at their limit.”
The political statements came as right-wing activists with the PEGIDA group gathered to form what they called a “living border” against refugees coming into Germany. Merkel’s critics attracted 2,500 people in the town of Sebnitz, on the border with the Czech Republic.
Thirty-six senior CDU officials today published an open letter to the chancellor that outlined their concerns about a German open door migration policy. It began:
‘Dear Madam Chancellor,
‘we turn to you with great concern about the future of our country and Europe. We are currently witnessing an uncontrolled influx of several thousand refugees a day to Germany. Many more thousands are refugees on various routes along the way in our country…
‘… The absorption capacity of Germany, however, is stretched to the limits and exhausted in many places. Nevertheless, it can be expected in the coming weeks and months a further large influx of refugees will arrive.’
The letter concluded with the observation that many Germany’s core values ‘still need to be communicated to the migrants’ such as the democratic rule of law, including freedom of expression, which includes freedom to criticize religions, equal and peaceful coexistence of religions, gender equality, non-discrimination of sexual minorities or the destruction of Israel.
The signatories demanded clear measures be taken to reduce the refugee numbers and impact.
All this from her own party members as she tries desperately to claw back control of the political dynamic in Germany.
This afternoon Merkel took one step in that direction when she named her chief of staff to coordinate refugee policy. Peter Altmaier will oversee a newly created staff unit at the chancellery and will work closely with Germany’s 16 regional governments. He will report to the cabinet every week.
That staff shuffle may be too little, too late to stave off what is a becoming Merkel’s nightmare on migrant street.