Chancellor Angela Merkel says the influx of migrants won’t fundamentally change Germany, a year after she first insisted that “we will manage” the refugee crisis.
Merkel said in an interview with the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung published Wednesday that her mantra — which has divided opinions in Germany — remains “the right motif for this task.”
The chancellor acknowledged that it was understandable that the public was worried and had a lot of questions but she tried to reassure them:
“Germany will remain Germany, with everything that is dear to us,” Merkel said.
Merkel also said that it had become clear that not every single refugee had come to Europe with the best intentions but insisted that there was no link between refugees and terrorism: “It is simply wrong that terrorism only came with the refugees, because it was already there, especially with the potential attackers that we have to monitor.”
Over the last few months, Germany has sustained a number of attacks, some of them committed by people who had come to Germany as refugees, once again reigniting fears among the German population that terrorist organisations are using the mass of refugees to send members into the country unnoticed.
On September 4 last year, Merkel and Austria’s then-chancellor decided to let in migrants who had piled up in Hungary. Germany registered over a million newcomers last year, though the actual number is believed to be lower, and the influx has unsettled many residents.
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