ANGELA MERKEL today announced plans to deport 100,000 migrants who arrived in Germany last year as she continues to backtrack on her controversial open door asylum policy.
And in her toughest rhetoric yet the German leader told MPs from her party this week: ”The most important thing in the coming months is repatriation, repatriation and once more, repatriation.”The stance marks an astonishing U-turn from the once pro-refugee Chancellor, who has been widely pilloried by critics at home and abroad for her decision to throw open Germany’s borders to millions of migrants.
Her extraordinary change of heart has been prompted largely by a series of catastrophic local election results for her ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, which was trounced by the populist Alternative fur Deutschland in both her home state and the capital Berlin.
The party’s slumping poll ratings have sparked alarm amongst her allies in both the CDU and its coalition partner, the Christian Social Union (CSU), with talk that senior officials would try to oust her.
But instead Mrs Merkel last week announced her intention to stand for a fourth term as leader of Germany, and now she is striking an increasingly anti-immigrant tone as she attempts to restore her battered reputation ahead of next autumn’s election.
Speaking at a conference of conservative MPs in Neumünster yesterday evening the Chancellor revealed that she expects 100,000 migrants to leave Germany this year, of which a third will be forcibly removed.
And employing a tough new form of rhetoric, she warned local regions to deport all migrants whose asylum applications are rejected, using force if necessary.
She warned them: “If state governments refuse to forcibly deport migrants, then of course everyone will say, ‘I will not do this voluntarily, because they will not do anything anyway’.
And in a stunning U-turn on her open borders policy, she added: ”It can not be that all the young people from Afghanistan come to Germany.”
Her rhetoric this week is a far cry from the now infamous rallying cry of Wir Schaffen Das – ‘we can do this’ – which the beleaguered leader has now dropped after issuing a statement verging on an apology.
It is estimated that some 215,000 migrants have been denied the right to stay in Germany over the last 18 months, most because they come from countries in eastern Europe and north Africa which are not ravaged by war.
Mrs Merkel is now insisting that resources must be concentrated on refugees fleeing war and turmoil who genuinely needed support, and that public acceptance for asylum seekers can only be maintained by deporting economic migrants trying to abuse the system.
Nick Gutteridge via Express | Photo: Infostormer.com
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