Migrant crisis: Refugees must return home after war is over, says Angela Merkel

A record 1.1 million migrants arrived in Germany last year.

By: Reuters | Neubrandenburg | Updated: January 31, 2016 11:33 am
Angela Merkel, Germal Chancellor merkel, germany leader, Syrian refugee, Iraq refugee, ISIS refugee, refugees in germany, ISIS, terrorism in Syria German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday tried to placate the increasingly vocal critics of her open-door policy for refugees, insisting that asylum seekers from Syria and Iraq would go home once the conflicts there had ended.

Merkel, despite appearing increasingly isolated over her policy, has resisted pressure from some conservatives to cap the influx of refugees, or to close Germany’s borders. A record 1.1 million migrants arrived in Germany last year.

But growing concern about the country’s ability to cope and worries about crime and security after assaults on women are weighing on support for Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU).

Merkel said that despite efforts to integrate refugees and help them, it was important to stress that they had only been given permission to stay for a limited period of time.

“We need … to say to people that this is a temporary residential status and we expect that once there is peace in Syria again, once IS has been defeated in Iraq, that you go back to your home country with the knowledge that you have gained,” she said at a meeting of CDU members in the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

She said 70 percent of refugees that fled to Germany from the war in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s had returned to their home countries.

Her remarks come after Horst Seehofer, leader of the CSU, threatened to take her government to court if his demand to stem the flow of asylum seekers was not met.

Support for the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) has edged up into double digits. Its leader said in an interview published on Saturday that border guards should shoot at refugees to prevent them from illegally entering the country if need be.

Merkel has tried to convince other European countries to take in quotas of refugees, pushed for reception centres to be built on Europe’s external borders, and led an EU campaign to try to convince Turkey to keep refugees from entering the bloc. But progress has been slow.

Germany wants to limit migration from North Africa by declaring Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia “safe countries”, which would end their citizens’ chance of being granted asylum.

Merkel said she had spoken to Morocco’s king and that Morocco had said it was prepared to take back people from that country.

For all the latest World News, download Indian Express App

  1. F
    Jan 31, 2016 at 11:08 am
    Mama Merkel all refuges who are come and you welcomed are come to live forever and not to go home. So please make necessary arrangement for them to sleep, stay , Give Job and then the refugees to tell the Germans how they have to live their life and the refugees dont like short dresses, the refugee dont like if you drink etc
    1. H
      Jan 31, 2016 at 9:43 am
      @last, her eyes started opening properly; she has to think about the rationale for permitting millions of these illegal economic migrants in to EU, if their status is temporary? instead, EU can negotiate with IOC nations in gulf to accommodate them in UN supervised, high quality human shelters in neutral zones and send them back, after situation normalizes? by doing this, these migrants can imilate in their own culture and live according to their religion; 90% of these are illegal economic migrants and are not genuine refugees; they came here well prepared to settle down for ever; all of them must be sent back now itself
      1. I
        Jan 31, 2016 at 6:01 am
        They have migrated to settle down permanent basis. Syria / Iraq war will never end and they m will never go back to their country.
        1. Wim Vincken
          Feb 2, 2016 at 6:08 am
          A total disaster. It's not possible to implement that and everyone knows that. Those people are there to stay and there is nothing she can do about it.