NEWS BRIEF German Chancellor Angela Merkel, coming off a dramatic loss last weekend for her Christian Democratic Union to a new right-wing, anti-migrant party, said Wednesday “Germany will remain Germany” despite the influx of asylum-seekers, and warned against inflammatory political rhetoric directed at the newcomers.
The comments to the Bundestag were Merkel’s most comprehensive after the center-right CDU’s third-place finish in local elections in her home state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania. The right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) finished second while the center-left Social Democrats retained power.
In her remarks Wednesday, Merkel showcased the economic gains under her chancellorship, but her comments about the asylum-seekers—of whom Germany has accepted more than 1 million since last year—made the most news given the CDU’s election performance and growing unease in Germany not only with the newcomers, but with the growing influence of the AfD. The situation, Merkel said in comments translated by Deutsche Welle, “is much better now than a year ago” when hundreds of thousands of asylum-seekers entered the country, “but there remains a lot to do.”
“Germany will remain Germany,” she said, “and so will all that is dear to it.”