Germany is all set to go to the polls next year and Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that she is contesting for the fourth term. After Germany opened its door to refugees last year leading to an influx of more than 11 lakh refugees, she has faced a severe backlash from the German citizens and opposition politicians belonging to the far-right groups. Moreover, there has been an increase in terror incidents in Germany this year which has forced the government to rethink its strategy on allowing refugees.
In a bid to beef up the security measures of Germany, Ms Angela Merkel has called for some radical reforms such as a ban on Muslim veils that fully cover the face in all the public places and a tougher stance on immigration & refugees. Such a ban is already in place in France and some other countries. A few days back, German law minister had proposed a slew of new measures to crackdown on Islamic terrorism, which included laws on deportation of suspected refugees and those who are potential threat to the society. A few weeks back, German police had conducted raids on more than 200 mosques, residences and suspected localities across 16 states. A few radicalised Islamic preachers and some organisations were banned.
“You must help me. No one, not even someone with great experience, can change things for the good in Germany, in Europe, in the world more or less on their own – certainly not a chancellor of Germany. We are faced with a world, especially after the US election, that needs to re-order itself, with regard to NATO and the relationship with Russia,” she said in an impassioned appeal to 1,000 CDU delegates. She was re-elected as the head of CDU strengthening her bid for the 4th term for Chancellor of Germany.
Acknowledging the troubles faced by Germany and entire Europe, Merkel began her speech with a promise not to allow a repetition of migrant influx that happened last year when nearly 1.1 million migrants poured into Germany. Later on in her speech, she then said the Muslim full-face veil was not compatible with German culture and must be banned. “Here we say ‘show your face’. So full veiling is not appropriate here. It should be prohibited wherever legally possible,” she said in a speech that lasted more than an hour. The powerful speech commanded an applause of more than 10 minutes from the audience.
Angela Merkel, undoubtedly, has been one of the best and the most powerful Chancellors of post-war Germany and currently considered the most powerful leader in Europe. She enjoys nation-wide support. If she is elected for the 4th term, she will be the third chancellor to be elected for 4 times in the history of post-war Germany, the other two being Helmut Kohl and Konrad Adenauer !