Germany's Angela Merkel has a powerful message for anyone criticising her refugee policy

Evan Bartlett@ev_bartlett
Wednesday 16 September 2015 16:30
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Of all the countries in Europe, Germany's response to the refugee crisis has perhaps been the most widely praised.

While there are certain economic benefits to Germany taking in more young people (with its ageing and steadily declining population), the way refugees have been welcomed into the country contrasts starkly with the experience in many others.

Nevertheless, certain sections of the population - and indeed other countries' governments - have criticised the policies of Angela Merkel's CDU party, which has announced that it intends to take in up to 800,000 people who have fled war and persecution.

Both the governments of Hungary and the Czech Republic have accused Merkel of being responsible for the crisis in Europe because she's been so welcoming.

But speaking after a meeting with Austria's chancellor Werner Faymann on Tuesday, Merkel - for the first time - addressed criticism for shutting the country's border last weekend, and also spoke out against those who believe refugees should be turned away.

If we start having to apologise for showing a friendly face in emergencies, then that isn’t my country.

  • Angela Merkel

Faymann also went on to criticise other countries' handling of the crisis accusing certain governments of "sticking their head in the sand" and explaining that "trampling on the right to asylum is not an alternative in our community of values".

The German chancellor said that Europe needs to reach a consensus on how best to deal with the situation, rather than being at eachother's throats.

It's true, Germany, Austria and Sweden cannot fix the problem alone. I think we need to create a European spirit again. Making threats won't work. It's not the first time we've disagreed in Europe.

  • Angela Merkel

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