Merkel defends her refugee policy, says crisis a historic test

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In a strong defence of her policy on migrants at the annual conference of her CDU party, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Germany was standing by its humanitarian duties. She described the crisis as an “historic test” for Europe.

The flow of migrants would be reduced, she said at the party’s conclave on December 13, a step that some members of the party have been calling for. The German government says it expects more than a million refugees to have come to Germany by the end of 2015.

The decision taken by her government to welcome refugees fleeing Syria’s civil war has not been popular within her own party. Mrs Merkel told the conference in Karlsruhe that the influx would be “noticeably reduced”. Such a reduction was in the interest of Germany and in the interest of the migrants themselves, she told the conference. The idea of an upper limit on migrant numbers, sought by some in her own party and by the leader of the CDU’s powerful Bavarian sister party, the CSU has been rejected by Mrs Merkel. Describing the year 2015, she called it an “unbelievable year”.

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