Germans have nothing to fear from the influx of refugees and migrants, Chancellor Angela Merkel has said.
Opening the Bundestag budget debate, she said the country’s current economic and social situation was as good as ever, DW reported.
Outlining her government’s achievements, Ms Merkel said more jobs had been created leading to a fall in unemployment rate.
She also stressed that Germans had increased purchasing power, adding that her government had presided over the largest pension increase in 23 years.
“We have used the good revenues to strengthen social security,” the Chancellor said.
Ms Merkel’s open-door refugee policy has of late come under heavy criticism following her party’s defeat in regional elections. Last weekend her party the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), came third place in state elections in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, her home state.
In her speech, the Chancellor assured the Germans that the country was capable of handling the influx of refugees and immigrants.
“The situation today is much, much better for everyone than it was a year ago but there is still a lot that needs to be done. One big problem is repatriation and enforcing the departure of those people who are not allowed to stay here. And citizens rightly expect from us that we help those who need help, but that we tell those who have no right of residence that they have to leave Germany,” Euronews quoted Ms Merkel to have said.
She also denied that the sheer number of migrants would lead to a cut in welfare for Germans.
Ms Merkel said they’ll step up efforts to repatriate failed asylum seekers. Regarding regular migrants, she said the government had sped up integration measures including education and accommodation.
The Chancellor warned against inflammatory language used by the right-wing populists, accusing them of misleading the public.
If all MPs used the same tactics as the AfD, then “only those who rely on slogans and seemingly easy answers,” would win, she said, adding that it was important to win back the people’s trust by keeping to the truth.
“When we join in with this behavior where facts are ignored or brushed aside, then a responsible and constructive debate is no longer possible,” DW quoted Ms Merkel to have said.