Germany's Merkel says refugees will go back after war ends

German Chancellor Angela Merkel insists asylum seekers from Syria and Iraq would go home once the war in both countries ends

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

German Chancellor Angela Merkel addresses a news conference after a meeting with state premiers at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, January 28, 2016.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday tried to placate the increasingly vocal critics of her open-door policy for refugees, insisting that asylum seekers from Syria and Iraq would go home once the conflicts there had ended.

Merkel said that despite efforts to integrate refugees and help them, it was important to stress that they had only been given permission to stay for a limited period of time.

"We need ... to say to people that this is a temporary residential status and we expect that once there is peace in Syria again, once DAESH has been defeated in Iraq, that you go back to your home country with the knowledge that you have gained," she said at a meeting of CDU members in the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

Germany accepted almost 1.1 million refugees last year and federal states have started to plan a budget of about 17 billion euros ($17.58 billion) to accommodate for refugees this year.

Germany has tightened its border controls since October, though Merkel continued to support an "open door policy" for asylum seekers and declared that Germany can cope with it, saying "we can manage this, because Germany is a strong country."

Merkel also said on Saturday that 70 percent of refugees who fled to Germany from the war in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s had returned to their home countries.

According to a poll conducted by Focus magazine, 40 percent of Germans want Merkel to resign due to her refugee policy.

TRTWorld and agencies