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2017: Merkel sticks to her migrant policy

In a New Year address to Germans, leader Angela Merkel denied that the worst terror attacks in half a century committed by Islamists were directed against Western civilisation.

Published: January 1, 2017, 8:10 am

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    Although Merkel called 2016 “a year of severe tests”, she refused to admit her complicity in contributing to the rise of terrorism by allowing over a million unvetted migrants into Germany.

    While acknowledging that Islamic terrorism remains her biggest headache, Merkel hinted at tougher security for 2017, but no changes in her open-door mass migration policies.

    Terror attacks in Würzburg, Ansbach, and the mass attack Berlin just days ago, were committed by illegal migrants who, in Merkel’s New Year’s address for 2015, she referred to as Germany’s “chance of tomorrow”.

    The Chancellor tried her best to disconnect the Islamist attacks from reality. Instead she called the terror an attack on “refugees” and Germany’s Willkommenskultur [welcoming culture], with little to no evidence that the attacks were directed against “refugees”.

    According to a leaked police document, published by Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper and broadcasters NDR and WDR in July last year, the previous estimates of sexual assaults during New Year had to be dramatically revised — upward.

    It took more than a year for the full extent of the New Year’s Eve assaults in Germany in 2015 to be known. Authorities now believe more than 2 000 men were allegedly involved, and 120 suspects — most of them foreign nationals who had only recently arrived in Germany — have been identified. Only 18 have been convicted so far.

    But Merkel offered yet more compassion and defended her calamitous open-door mass migration policy, essentially an open invitation to terrorists, according to a Europol warning that “infiltration of refugee camps and other refugee/migrant groups is likely”.

    She has allowed potentially hundreds of Islamic State fighters in, along with the risk of radicalising migrants already living in Germany, but Merkel rejected criticism of her unwavering commitment to mass migration, saying that Germany will fight the “hatred” of terrorism with “humanity” and “unity”.

    According to the German chancellor, the terrorists “mock [the willingness of Germany to help] with their deeds [acts of terrorism], like they mock those who really need and deserve our protection.”

    She lamented that is has been “particularly bitter and repulsive” when terrorist attacks are committed by migrants.

    “With the images of bombed-out Aleppo in Syria, it is important to remember once again how important and correct it was that our country has helped in the past year those who need our protection,” she continued.

    Asserting that “[the] state is doing everything to ensure its citizens’ security in freedom,” the chancellor said that in the midst of mourning for the dead and injured in these “difficult days,” Germans should seek “consolation” in each other.

    Her comments on Brexit in particular were echoed by French president Francois Hollande.

    Merkel described 2016 as a year that gave many the impression that the world had “turned upside down” comparing Brexit to a “deep incision” and said that even though the EU was “slow and arduous”, its member states should focus on common interests that transcend national benefits.

    In closing, she said that Germans needed “openness” and “an open view of the world.”

    karin@praag.org

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