01 September 2020
Five years on from Angela Merkel's declaration that "we can manage this" in response to the arrival of hundreds of thousands of refugees, what has happened?
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How Angela Merkel’s great migrant gamble paid off (The Guardian, link):
"By 2017, there was a prevalent view that Wir schaffen das would be Merkel’s undoing, a “catastrophic mistake” as Donald Trump said in January that year. “The worst decision a European leader has made in modern times,” Nigel Farage told Fox News. “She’s finished.”
Yet today Merkel still sits at the top of Europe’s largest economy, her personal approval ratings back to where they were at the start of 2015 and the polling of her party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), buoyed to record levels by the global pandemic. When Merkel steps down ahead of federal elections in 2021, as is expected, her party’s successor currently looks more likely to be a centrist in her mould than a hardliner promising a symbolic break with her stance on immigration."
The article highlights that fears of social disorder, increased terrorism and an increased in crime - largely predicted by or fuelled by those on the right of the political spectrum - have turned out to be unfounded. An integration officer interviewed for the story argues that: "It’s a success story, even if no one quite has the confidence to say that yet."
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