Hangzhou: German Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed Monday to "win back trust" of voters over the handling of the migrant crisis after her party lost against the right-wing populist AfD in state elections.
"Everyone now needs to think about how we can win back trust -- most of all, of course, myself," Merkel said, speaking on the sidelines of a G20 summit in China a day after the election in her home state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
She stressed, "I am deeply dissatisfied with the outcome of the election," conceding that it had been dominated by the influx of one million asylum seekers last year and the question of how to integrate them in society.
She said that, as chancellor and party chief, "of course I am also responsible" but insisted that opening Germany's borders to a mass influx of refugees and migrants a year ago was fundamentally the right decision.
"We now have a rapidly falling number of arriving refugees," she said, as Europe's top economy expects a total of 300,000 arrivals this year.
"I consider the fundamental decisions as right, but there is much to be done to win back trust, and the topic of integration will play a huge role, as well the repatriation of those who don't gain residency rights."...