Chastened Angela Merkel takes blame for migrant crisis: If I could turn back time

Chastened Angela Merkel takes blame for migrant crisis: If I could turn back time, by David Charter.

A chastened Angela Merkel has pledged that there will be no repeat of last year’s influx of 1.1 million migrants after her party’s latest regional election defeat in Berlin.

Mrs Merkel finally struck a contrite tone in the face of her party’s worst showing in the capital by vowing not to repeat her catchphrase of “we can do it”, saying that she was aware “some people feel provoked” by it.

Merkel smiles for dominant immigrant

Not working out so well in the longer term…

The 62-year-old chancellor also said that she would like to turn back the clock “many years” so that Germany and Europe were better prepared to handle the pressure of migrants fleeing war zones and poverty.

Mrs Merkel’s change of tone followed her Christian Democratic Union’s 17.6 per cent share of the vote in the Berlin election, in which the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) entered the city-state parliament with 14.2 per cent. …

Markus Soder, the finance minister in Bavaria, called the Berlin result the “second massive wake-up call in two weeks” for the conservative alliance. “CDU/CSU is threatened by permanent and massive loss of confidence from their electorate,” he said. …

A poll in Bild showed that 80.8 per cent of Germans wanted a ban on burkas, 63.2 per cent did not support the visa-free travel deal being offered to Turkey to take back illegal immigrants from Greece and 62.7 per cent supported an upper limit of 200,000 refugees a year.