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Merkel rejects calls to change refugee policy after attacks

Chancellor Angela Merkel has said Germany will not change its willingness to take in refugees following recent attacks.

Chancellor Angela Merkel
Chancellor Angela Merkel

Addressing a press conference after she interrupted her holidays, the chancellor rejected the calls to reverse her immigration and asylum policies and made very clear that she had no regrets.

The recent attacks were “shocking and depressing,” but not a sign that the government had lost control, DW reported.

Germany has faced a number of attacks in the recent past. In Würzburg, an asylum seeker stabbed people on a local train while in Ansbach, another asylum seeker blew himself up outside a music festival. In Reutlingen a refugee stabbed a woman to death.

The deadliest attack was the one in Munich which left nine people dead and more than 30 wounded.

The Chancellor said the attackers “wanted to undermine our sense of community, our openness and our willingness to help people in need. We firmly reject this,” BBC reported.

In reference to the famous phrase “Wir schaffen das” (We can do this) she uttered last year when she agreed to take in a million migrants, Ms Merkel said: “I am still convinced today that “we can do it”.

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Last year she said Germany was able to cope with the huge influx of refugees that came to the country. That marked the beginning of her so called “welcome policy.”

A total of one million refugees arrived in Germany in 2015.

Right-wing populists and members of the Chancellor’s own coalition have been critical of her “welcome policy”. The recent three attacks have generated further criticism of the policy.

But in today’s press conference Ms Merkel showed that she is not bowing down to any pressure.

She appeared very calm and collected as she emphasized: “We can still do this. We can manage this historical challenge.”

In reference to Islamist terror, she said: “Let me be clear, we are at war with Islamic State; we are not at war with Islam.”