German Chancellor Angela Merkel is facing falling popularity and angry rebellions from her own allies as her policy of welcoming all migrants continues to backfire.
Amid reports of regular sexual abuse at migrant camps and local residents feeling intimidated into wearing ‘modest’ clothing, Merkel’s personal ratings are falling and her coalition partners in the Christian Social Union (CSU) are hardening their tone.
Germany’s press has said that the CSU, which is in permanent coalition with Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), threatened to dissolve their 70-year union unless the Chancellor brought back border controls. Merkel had no choice but to back down, The Times reports.
One MP who was present at private meeting of CDU and CSU parliamentarians with the Chancellor said: ” My impression is that the chancellor is more and more exhausted and it could be that she is feeling that this situation could be a danger for her chancellorship.”
“We have expectations of 800,000 to one million this year, but what if it went to four million next year?”
Meanwhile, social workers and women’s groups in Geissen complained to the local state parliament that rape and child abuse are rife in the refugee camp. A report in the Daily Mail says they claimed there had been “numerous rapes and sexual assaults, and forced prostitution.”
“Many women have felt the need to sleep in their clothes… they won’t go to the toilet at night because rapes and assaults have taken place on their way to, or from, there. Even in daylight, a walk through the camp is fraught with fear.”
They add: “It is a fact that women and children are unprotected. This situation is opportune for those men who already regard women as their inferiors and treat unaccompanied women as ‘fair game’.”
At another migrant camp on a former US airbase in Bayernkaserne near Munich, women’s rights groups have complained forced prostitution and say that rape happens every day. One social worker told local TV the camp was the “biggest brothel in the city”. The price for sex with a female migrant is €10.
Meanwhile, private security guards hired by the government to protect the camp were found to be dealing drugs and supplying guns and knives to the migrants.
In the town of Mering in Bavaria, police have told parents not to let their children wander unaccompanied, while women have been warned not to walk home alone from the railway station due to the high risk of rape.
The headmaster of a school in Pocking, also in Bavaria, told parents not to let their daughters wear revealing clothing as it could cause “misunderstandings”. In a letter, he said the migrants were “mainly Muslim, and speak Arabic. They have their own culture. Because our school is directly next to where they are staying, modest clothing should be worn… revealing tops or blouses, short skirts or miniskirts could lead to misunderstandings.”
There are now rumours circulating that Merkel could stand down in order to replace Ban Ki-Moon as UN General Secretary when he retires next year, something she denies.
One MP in her party said: “She told those close to her a few months ago that she wants to stay on for the next election. But her behaviour towards the refugees makes it seem like she is still making an application for the UN.”