German Chancellor Angela Merkel has reacted to the stunning election defeat over the weekend admitting that her own migrant policies were to blame.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel held an impromptu press conference at the tail end of the G20 summit in China to react to the massive defeat of her Christian Democratic Union party (CDU) over the weekend at regional elections in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
The beleaguered Chancellor, who is dropping in popularity daily in opinion polls, admitted that it was indeed her own mass migration policies that had led to the anti-mass migration Alternative for Germany party (AfD) relegating the CDU to third place in Ms. Merkel’s home state, reports Die Welt.
“I am very unhappy with the outcome of the elections,” Ms. Merkel told the press at the Hyatt hotel. The Chancellor did not mince words saying, “of course this has to do with the refugee policy,” and noted that her CDU party had lost a great amount of confidence from the general public across the country.
“The task is now to work hard to regain trust,” Ms. Merkel said, and noted that her party must show “that we can solve the problems, not only related to refugees.”
However, Ms. Merkel said that she stands by her policies, saying decisions taken by her government were still correct. The Chancellor affirmed that the European Union (EU) migrant deal with Turkey was a step in the right direction toward tackling the migrant crisis.
The agreement has significantly slowed down the migrant flow from Turkey into Greece, though it constantly teeters on the edge of collapse due to disagreements over visa-free access for Turkey into Europe. But the substantial number migrants this year have come from North Africa into Italy, where no migrant deal exists, and already over 100,000 migrants have landed on Italian shores or been rescued at sea.
The significant issues of integration and the deportation of failed asylum seekers were mentioned by Ms. Merkel who has turned more hard line on the migrant crisis in recent weeks claiming that she does not want to see a repeat of last year.
The German Federal elections are to be held next year, and there are rumours that Ms. Merkel may not stand again for a fourth term. The Chancellor responded to those rumours saying that she had not considered whether or not she would be running again, and would only do so when the right time came.
Allies of Ms. Merkel in the German coalition government, such as the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU), have said that Sunday’s election results are a defeat for the political establishment, not just the CDU.
CSU General Secretary Andreas Scheuer said that CSU leader Horst Seehofer would be very clear in a meeting with Ms. Merkel on Sunday for the need to change direction. Mr. Seehofer has been a frequent critic of Ms. Merkel’s decision to leave the borders open during the crisis and even threatened to take her to court earlier in the year.