Merkel’s Last Stand? Chancellor Running Out of Time on Refugee Issue
Thursday, January 21, 2016
The most unusual tribunal in the republic meets around 25 times per year, usually on Tuesdays in the gray-panelled conference room on the third floor of the Reichstag where conservative parliamentarians often meet.
At the front sits the defendant, German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Her accusers sit at the long rows of tables before her, the three or four dozen back benchers who are increasingly adopting the tone of a public prosecutor when addressing Merkel’s refugee policies.
Angela Merkel has repeatedly said that it will take time to solve the refugee crisis. But impatience is growing, particularly following the sexual assaults in Cologne. Voices of discontent are getting louder and the chancellor's hold on power may be weakening. But then came New Year's Eve in Cologne, and since then everything has changed
-- both in Merkel's party and across the country.
shrill debates in talk shows, on the Internet and on the streets have
become even shriller. Among politicians in Berlin, calls for something
to be done have grown both in number and volume. And within the
population, where attitudes toward Merkel's policies have for months
wavered between sympathy and skepticism, concerns are growing: Will the
effort to integrate more than a million refugees overwhelm German
Can the government still guarantee the safety of its citizens?
Is the state failing? Merkel is particularly concerned about the gradual erosion of her
authority. Throughout her time in office, she has earned a reputation as
someone who has mastered all of the crises facing Germany and Europe.
Now, however, every promise Merkel makes is bursting like a soap bubble.
German voters are watching Merkel fail at one of the most fundamental
tasks facing a state: That of controlling who enters the country. Read it all here.............