German Chancellor Angela Merkel tried on Saturday to placate the increasingly vocal critics of her open-door policy for refugees by insisting that most refugees from Syria and Iraq would go home once the conflicts there had ended.
Despite appearing increasingly isolated, Merkel has resisted pressure from some conservatives to cap the influx of refugees, or to close Germany’s borders.
Support for her conservative bloc has slipped as concerns mount about how Germany will integrate the 1.1 million migrants who arrived last year, while crime and security are also in the spotlight after a wave of assaults on women in Cologne at New Year by men of north African and Arab appearance.
The influx has played into the hands of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD), whose support is now in the double digits, and whose leader was quoted on Saturday saying that migrants entering illegally should, if necessary, be shot.
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