Merkel: We need to keep Europe together

In a televised interview on Sunday, Angela Merkel has stressed the need for an open door policy on borders but ensuring that Europe does not breakdown in the process

Merkel: We need to keep Europe together

World Bulletin / News Desk

In an interview  German public television on Sunday, Chancellor Angela Merkel said the policy of open borders for refugee would stay in place. Merkel dismissed a "rigid limit," saying, "There is no point in believing that I can solve the problem through the unilateral closure of borders."

"I have no plan B," Merkel said, saying that she believed she was on the right track with efforts to redistribute refugees within Europe, while addressing the problems causing people to flee to the continent: "I am fighting for this approach."

Merkel said it was important to limit the number of refugees came to Germany, but also reassured viewers by insisting that her government's strategy is the only "logical" one - and that disputes over refugees within the EU as well as a breakdown of Europe must be avoided at all costs.

Merkel also said dealing with refugee crisis has been a "difficult path," and was concerned about the impact it left on Germany's global reputation: "This is a very important phase in our history," she said.

"There is so much violence and hardship on our doorstep," she said. "What's right for Germany in the long term? There, I think it is to keep Europe together and to show humanity."

Threat to Democracy

The chancellor rejected the suggestion that recent violent protests and open displays of hostility towards refugees could lead to a threat to democracy similar to that experienced under the Weimar Republic. Then, after the loss of the First World War, a three-year period of hyperinflation up to 1924 caused political instability.

"I do not believe that," Merkel said, but also made note that it was important to take such warnings seriously. She said that it was her job "to solve problems so that we can stand by our values."

Commenting on what she called the "devastating" attacks on women in Cologne at New Year by men said to be of mostly North African origin, Merkel said: "Rules must be clear from the start" to refugees, adding, "Integration isn't just a voluntary matter."

Merkel's party faces elections on March 13 when voters elect new regional parliaments in three of Germany's 16 states. It is the first poll since the migrant crisis began.

Talking to Turkey and Greece

Merkel said that realistic agreements with Turkey had to be made in order to limit the influx of refugees into Europe.

She added that her focus is on negotiations with Turkey - over providing better care to refugees - due to take place next week, with a summit on migration expected ten days later. 

Refugees gather in a hostel in Berlin

The ARD talk show host, Anne Will, asked Merkel about the growing number of refugees unable to cross into Macedonia at Greece's border with the country.

Merkel responded, "We cannot let this country down." Greece was not kept within the eurozone just to be plunged into "chaos" now, she explained.

"The international financial crisis was a big challenge. We managed that well. The euro crisis was a huge challenge," Merkel commented.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 29 Şubat 2016, 11:37