Merkel Says Germany Must View Refugee Crisis With ‘Optimism’

Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany should view an influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees with “optimism” and called on Germans to welcome those fleeing war and oppression with open arms.

“We are an attractive country for refugees and that is a good thing,” Merkel said in a speech Thursday at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt. “We want to help those in need of protection,” she said, while reiterating that authorities will “send back” those who come to Germany for economic reasons.

“As important as welcoming these people will be integrating them into our country, our set of values, our society,” Merkel said. “It’s a challenging task, we know that.”