GERMAN Chancellor Angela Merkel has admitted she regrets opening Germany’s doors to more than a million refugees last year.
Following a devastating defeat in Berlin state elections today, Mrs Merkel said she accepted her share of responsibility for voters punishing her ruling Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) party for her refugee-friendly migrant policy.
Speaking at a news conference in Berlin, she said: “If I could, I would turn back the time by many, many years.”
The German premier admitted she could have been better prepared for the influx of migrants last year.
She added if she knew how people wanted her to change her migrant policy she would consider it.
And she admitted Germany had not been “world champions” in integrating migrants in the past, saying it would take time to integrate them.
Monday’s defeat is the second in two weeks, with the Chancellor being defeated in her own constituency in the state of Mecklenburg-Western-Pomerania.
Attacks by migrants and clashes with Germans have plagued the country over the past year as they struggle to cope with the numbers unprecedented in modern times.
Right-wing party, the Alternative for Germany (AfD), made big gains during the weekend’s state elections as Germans reacted to Mrs Merkel’s policy.
She said: “Back in 1989, when the wall came down, it looked like we were on the right path, that everyone else just needed to imitate our model.
“But it turned out that it’s not that easy.”
“The saying ‘we can do this’ is part of my political work. I really don’t want to repeat it anymore. Some feel provoked by this sentence but it wasn’t meant that way. ”
“That was not good. And if I could I would turn back time for many, many years to be able to better prepare myself with the entire government and all those responsible for this situation that hit us when we were rather unprepared in the late summer of 2015.
“Since then we have tried with all our might to shape, organise and regulate and much has already been achieved with this, very much.
“Still, I am aware that many areas are still lacking.”
The anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD), which with 14 percent of the vote will enter its 10th of the country’s 16 regional assemblies, said it would target a double digit score in next year’s national vote after the “terrific” Berlin result.
“More and more people are convinced and recognising that we are a real alternative not just for Berlin but for Germany,” AfD co-leader Joerg Meuthen told a news conference in the capital.
Full article: ‘I wish I could turn back time’ Merkel finally admits she REGRETS open-door migrant policy (Express)