Migrant crisis a historic test for Europe

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has described the migrant crisis as a “historic test” for Europe.

More than one million refugees have come to Germany so far this year, officials there say.

Defending her policy on migrants at the annual conference of her CDU party, Mrs Merkel said that Germany was standing by its humanitarian duties. But she said the flow of migrants would be reduced – a step that some members of the party have been calling for.

The German leader said the decision by Germany and Austria to allow in migrants stranded in the Hungarian capital, after many started walking towards the border on 4 September, was a humanitarian imperative.

“Something that was far away from us – that we have seen on television – is now literally at our front door,” she said. “The war in Syria, the barrel bombings by (Syrian President Bashar al-) Assad, the spread of IS in Syria and Iraq, the fact that Libya has no functioning government, the situation in Afghanistan – all that is no longer far away but has come to us.”

Mrs Merkel, who has led Germany for 10 years, was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year last week. The US news magazine cited her role in Europe’s crises over migration and the Greek debt crisis, saying she had provided “steadfast moral leadership in a world where it is in short supply”.

[BBC]

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