The Refugee Crisis Is Changing Angela Merkel

Domestic grumbling about asylum seekers is forcing the German chancellor to be more active in resolving the Syrian crisis.

But what will her legacy be?

Photographer: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Yesterday's meeting between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the prime ministers of German states yielded an important number. Every incoming asylum seeker will cost the federal government 670 euros per month ($747) plus a further 500 million euros for housing. Amazingly, the huge outlay is not testing Merkel's resolve to accept the refugees or her Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble's determination to balance the budget without new debt. But the chancellor is still going out on a limb: if Germans tire of the influx of Syrians and Iraqis, she will be held responsible.

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