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Germany’s Angela Merkel Proves Love Always Trumps Hate

Merkel defends rights of refugees in spite of attacks

German Chancellor Angela Merkel refuses to allow fear to dominate the country’s political climate.

The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has decided to stand by her open-door policy to refugees in spite of the fierce criticism the policy, and Merkel herself, has faced as a result of the recent attacks in the country. Merkel has recognized the latest assaults that have taken place inside Germany and across all Europe as “shocking, depressing and terrifying” but emphasized the importance of humanitarian assistance to all refugees fleeing the war. According to CNN, she said at a news conference:

“We decided to fulfill our humanitarian tasks. Refusing humanitarian support, that would be something I wouldn’t want to do and I wouldn’t recommend this to Germany.”
Germany has faced four attacks in the past couple of weeks, out of which three were carried out by either asylum seekers or refugees who according to authorities were, although not necessary linked, inspired by Islamic extremism and ISIS. The result has been a strong wave of criticism against Germany’s Chancellor who has been, in a way, blamed for attacks due to her openness towards more than 1 million refugees fleeing the Syrian war, and among which these extremists passed inadvertently. In fact, Merkel recognized this, as The Guardian cited:
“Isis ‘used the refugee movement to smuggle terrorist forces [into Europe], as we’ve seen in France. That we should check all the ways [they use] has been clear for a long time, which is why internal and external security can no longer be distinguished from each other. We unfortunately have to accept that many Islamist fighters from Europe have gone to Syria.’”
However, the national discontent and even foreign criticism did not wait. On social media the hashtag #MerkelSommer and “Merkel’s summer of slaughter” became trendy.

Yet Merkel denied feeling guilty over her policy towards refugees and insisted German authorities and the government would adopt a nine-point plan in order to increase security in the country.

Around the world, fear and insecurity have been taking control over political movements, with political candidates around the world giving speeches against refugees, and in some cases even against migrants in general. Xenophobia, Islamophobia and racism are on the rise in countries such as the United States, England and France. However, Angela Merkel, aware of the fact that Germans are feeling insecure at the moment, reminded people that Germany cannot allow anxiety and fear to advise a country’s political decisions. Additionally, she reminded everyone with her speech that the work does not finish with welcoming refugees and improving the processes of repatriation of those whose asylum claims are rejected, but with helping them address the root causes of why they have to flee. Her stance is a reminder of the fact that millions of innocent people should not pay the price for the terrible acts of a few.

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

 

From Mexico City, Carolina has lived in five different countries, experiences she defines as the most enriching. She has focused her studies and work on international conflicts and international security issues, diplomacy and protocol. Carolina holds two MA degrees and hopes to begin her PhD studies soon.