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Merkel Defends Open-door Policy on Refugees

FILE - German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, casts her vote at the German Federal Parliament in Berlin, Germany, Dec.4, 2015.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has defended her open door policy on refugees, opposing limits to the number of asylum-seekers intending to settle in Germany.

In an interview published Saturday in two regional newspapers, Merkel said that she would like the number of migrants entering the country reduced, but she does not support the demands within her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party to set a limit on the number of refugees that the country would except.

Merkel also said that it would be “an illusion to believe that we could solve the problem at the German-Austrian border,” adding that “large refugee movements can only be tackled through international cooperation.”

Merkel’s remarks came ahead of her CDU party congress on Monday, within which tensions have risen over chancellor’s refugee policy.

About 1 million asylum-seekers have entered Germany this year, an influx of people that has burdened cities and communities struggling to process and accommodate them.

The refugee influx could cost Germany up to $60 billion annually, according to a study released Friday by the Institute for the World Economy, a prominent research organization based in the northern German city of Kiel.

The refugee crisis, the worst since World War Two, has led to anti-immigration demonstrations in Germany in recent weeks and protesters have called for Merkel’s resignation.

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