Chancellor Angela Merkel can no longer ignore the building pressure and growing skepticism over her political course on refugees. But is Europe’s most powerful leader willing – and able – to quickly and radically change her open-door, “refugees welcome” policy that has fueled an unabated surge in people seeking asylum in Europe, especially Germany?
Ms. Merkel is clearly wavering. Never before in her 10 years in office has she faced so much dissent at home and abroad – and arguably made so many mistakes – as she has with the refugee crisis.
Many agree the chancellor has responded far too late to the historic dimensions of the crisis and they see the country in a state of emergency.
Her mantra about coping with the influx in refugees – “We’ll manage it” – appears shakier than ever.
Now even some of her closest allies are breaking rank and speaking out, as support for her zig-zag political course disintegrates and the popularity of right-wing groups continues to grow.
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble has emerged as the most senior critic of her policy. He warned on Wednesday that the flow of refugees into Germany and Europe could turn into an “avalanche” if not managed properly.