• Germany's news in English
'Most refugees will return home': Merkel
Angela Merkel made the prediction at a meeting of her CDU party in Western Pomerania. Photo: Bernd Settnik/dpa

'Most refugees will return home': Merkel

The Local · 31 Jan 2016, 08:53

Published: 31 Jan 2016 08:53 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit
Merkel's open-door policy, while initially winning praise last year, has come under mounting criticism, especially after the German city of Cologne was rocked by a wave of sexual assaults on New Year's Eve blamed on migrants.
"We expect that once peace has returned to Syria, once the Islamic State (group) has been defeated in Iraq, that they will return to their countries of origin, armed with the knowledge they acquired with us," Merkel said a
regional gathering of her Christian Democrats (CDU) party in the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, according to news agency DPA.
She cited the refugees from former Yugoslavia as an example, saying that 70 percent of those who arrived in Germany in the 1990s returned home once it was safe to do so.
Germany took in more than 1.1 million asylum seekers last year and more are arriving on a daily basis, despite the hardening mood among Germans.
Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told German weekly Der Spiegel Saturday that on average, 2,000 migrants had entered Germany per day in January, which "projected over a year would still be very many -- too many".
Support for German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative alliance has slumped to its lowest since July 2012 as opposition over her liberal refugee policy grows, a survey showed Sunday, while a right-wing populist party polled a record high.
According to the poll published by the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, public support for Merkel's Christian Democratic Union and sister party Christian Social Union now stands at just 34 percent, down two percentage points.
The Social Democratic Party -- the junior partner in Merkel's left-right grand coalition, has also lost ground, shedding one percentage point to 24 percent, according to the poll of 1,638 people conducted from January 21 to 27.
Meanwhile, the populist Alternative for Germany (AfD), which on Saturday sparked a storm by suggesting that police should be allowed to shoot migrants to stop them from entering Germany, scored a record 12 percent, gaining two percentage points on a similar poll published a week ago.
Founded on a eurosceptic platform, the AfD has gone through a leadership split and veered further to the right, with some of its leaders voicing support for the anti-Islamic PEGIDA protest movement.
With 1.1 million asylum seekers arriving in Germany in 2015, concerns are growing over the country's ability to integrate the newcomers.
Story continues below…
After a decade in power Merkel has come under fierce pressure to review her open-arms approach towards those fleeing war, with emotions heightened after a rash of sexual assaults in Cologne on New Year's Eve police blamed mostly on North Africans.
While Merkel does not face national elections until 2017, regional elections in three states in March will be a key test of support, with the AfD hoping to pick up seats at her party's expense.
A poll published Friday by news weekly Focus found that 40 percent of respondents want Merkel to resign.
Nevertheless, a subsequent poll commissioned by Focus found that, with 41 percent, Merkel came in top as the politician whom the public believe can best manage the migrant crisis.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Germans think they're fit, but they're really couch potatoes
Photo: DPA.

There's been an increase in the number of Germans who define themselves as "fit", but their lifestyle choices don't quite match this self-perception.

Intensive farming 'endangers a third of German species'
Photo: DPA

There are 32,000 species of animal, plant and mushroom life native to Germany. Due to intensive farming methods, one in every three of these is endangered, a new report shows.

German hospital uses therapy to 'treat' paedophiles
A poster from the campaigne "Don't offend", which offers therapy to paedophiles. The sign reads "Do you love kids more than you'd prefer? There's help." Photo: DB Scholz & Friends / DPA.

A unique German initiative is offering therapy to paedophiles to control their urges, with the aim of getting them help before they offend.

Minister: 'no tolerance' for clowns after chainsaw attack
Photo: DPA

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière has called for a zero-tolerance approach to 'killer clowns' after a series of attacks culminating in two teenagers being chased by a clown wielding a chainsaw.

Baby who was auctioned on eBay taken away from father
Photo: DPA.

A German court ruled on Thursday that a man who put his one-month-old baby up for sale on the online auction platform eBay should only be allowed contact with the child under supervision.

Portugal's ruling party calls German minister 'pyromaniac'
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble. Photo: DPA.

The head of Portugal's ruling Socialists called German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble a "pyromaniac" on Thursday after he criticized Lisbon for reversing course on austerity.

These are Germany's top ten universities
The new library of Freiburg University. Photo: Jörgens.mi / Wikimedia Commons

These are the best universities in all of Germany - at least according to one ranking.

Introducing Swabians - 'the Scots of Germany'
Photo: DPA

These Southern Germans have quite a reputation in the rest of the country.

Woman sues dentist over job rejection for headscarf
Photo: DPA

A dentist in Stuttgart is being taken to court by a woman whom he rejected for a job as his assistant on the basis that she wears a Muslim headscarf.

Isis suspect charged with scouting Berlin attack sites
Photo: DPA

German federal prosecutors said Thursday they had brought charges against a 19-year-old Syrian man accused of having scouted targets in Berlin for a potential attack by the Isis terror group.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd