German Chancellor Angela Merkel allegedly decided to keep the border open for refugees in September 2015 because she feared clashes between migrants and police would look bad on television.
Robin Alexander, politics editor at newspaper Die Welt, describes the events that led Merkel to welcome a million refugees in a book released this week. The government reversed a decision to shut the gates last minute despite information that 40,000 migrants could enter in a single weekend. (RELATED: Merkel Allegedly Changed Her Mind On Closing Borders Last Minute, Then 1 Million Refugees Arrived)
Alexander claims Merkel changed her mind after Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière asked police what would happen along the border.
“Can we live with the images that will come out of this?” de Maizière asked a senior police official, according to an excerpt from the book seen by The Sunday Times. “What happens if 500 refugees with children in their arms run towards the border guards?”
De Maizière shared the information with Merkel, who called for the border to remain open just hours before it was scheduled to close.
“For historical reasons, the chancellor feared images of armed German police confronting civilians on our borders,” Alexander writes in the book.
Alexander said the order was based on the government’s unwillingness to assume responsibility for possible clashes rather than humanitarian and ethical concerns. The book further argues Merkel’s policies created an “anxiety about migration” that fueled the Brexit campaign in the United Kingdom and Donald Trump’s run for president of the U.S.
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