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Merkel Clutches Refugee Policy Despite Stunning Blow From Voters

BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images

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Rachel Stoltzfoos Staff Reporter

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is standing by her embrace of refugees in spite of a massive loss at the polls Sunday, when voters defeated her party in a state election.

“Obviously it has something to do with the refugee question,” Merkel told reporters following the election. “But I nevertheless believe the decisions made were right and we have to continue to work on them.”

After welcoming more than a million refugees into the country in just the past year, Merkel has refused to set a numerical limit on future numbers of migrants, even as she negotiates with Turkey to tamp the flow. Her party, the conservative Christian Democratic Union, is reeling after winning just 19 percent of the vote Sunday — its worst ever result. Voters favored the nationalist Alternative for Germany party, which advocates a much tougher stance toward refugees.

“I believe the fundamental decisions we made in the past months were right, but we have much to do to win back trust,” Merkel added to reporters Monday. (RELATED: Merkel Admits Open-Door Policy Has Brought Terrorists To Europe)

Merkel has been under pressure for quite some time regarding her refugee policies, but has refused to budge on their substance. She has admitted their implementation is flawed, but is adamant Germany must continue to welcome the refugees.

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