- Says fears, questions of national identity can’t be ignored
- Chancellor comments as refugee influx roils German public
German Chancellor Angela Merkel signaled she’s fighting to make globalization a success, while saying that fears of a loss of national identity in the process must be addressed.
Merkel’s comments on Wednesday reflect the impact of some 1 million asylum seekers who arrived in Germany last year, eroding her poll ratings and sharpening the tone of German politics, including within her government. A sense that the world is growing closer is prompting questions about the meaning of homeland “and unfortunately also resentment,” she said at a party event in Berlin.
“This battle to make globalization succeed has to be fought now,” Merkel said. “We can see every day that we all have something to learn in this regard.”
Europe’s refugee crisis has spurred anti-immigration forces across the region, including the Alternative for Germany party, while Merkel has consistently opposed border closures within the European Union. Support for her Christian Democrat-led bloc was unchanged at 34 percent in a weekly Forsa poll published Wednesday, which compares with 41.5 percent in the last general election in 2013. The Social Democrats, Merkel’s junior coalition partner, were unchanged at 21 percent, according to the poll.