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Germany’s Merkel defends 2015 migration policy

DPA
Stralsund
German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended her migration policy on Tuesday, saying she believed her decision in September 2015 to open Germany’s borders to refugees and migrants stranded in Hungary was the right one.
Speaking at a forum with citizens in north-eastern Germany, Merkel said she had to live with the fact that her decision to have Germany take in significant numbers of migrants caused her and her government problems.
“And still I would always say it was right, that we helped in a humanitarian emergency,” the chancellor said.
She also said that Germany should not only strive to maintain its wealth, but needed to accept that it was part of an international community. “We can not just think about ourselves,” Merkel said.
Concerning migrant rescue in the Mediterranean, the German chancellor said it was necessary to adhere to “the rule of humanity.” She also criticised smuggling and trafficking operations that bring migrants to Europe.
One local politician asked Merkel if she had divided the country with her migration policy, and accused her of leading Germany “into a dictatorship in the name of tolerance.” The politician said members of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) were not allowed to freely express their views.
The AfD campaigns on an anti-immigrant platform.

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