Merkel says migrant influx a fallout from globalisation
Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday said the influx of asylum seekers into Germany was part of the fallout from globalisation, which, she noted, had served Germany well in terms of exports and jobs.
Addressing a congress of the giant IG Metall metalworkers’ union in Frankfurt, Merkel said: “Your experience of globalisation has, until now, basically been: our economy goes into other countries, builds factories, sells products and the results are positive for German employment and business.”
“And now we’re witnessing an inverse movement: globalisation is coming to us,” the chancellor, who has thrown Germany’s doors open to hundreds of thousands of people fleeing the war in Syria, said.
Exports from Europe’s top economy amount to over 100 billion euros ($113 billion) a month which has been a key driver of its bullish growth.
Merkel said that the refugee tide had made “that which we thought was very far away,” such as the war in Syria or the bloody conflict between rival factions in Libya, “concrete for us in the form of refugees.”
“We must learn to cope with that,” Merkel said.
“We will have to accept a certain degree of legal immigration, that’s globalisation… In the era of the smartphone we cannot shut ourselves away… people know full well how we live in Europe.”
Merkel has come under mounting criticism at home and abroad over her migrant policy but remained firm on the need to show solidarity.
“For me it goes without saying that we’ll get there,” she said, while admitting the mass arrivals posed “big challenges” for Germany and Europe.
Germany is expecting up to a million asylum seekers this year.