Merkel admits Germany made mistakes that led to refugee crisis

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has admitted that Germany reacted too late to mounting evidence of a refugee crisis.

In an interview published Wednesday by the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, Merkel said that "we Germans, too, ignored the problem for too long."

"In 2004 and 2005, there were already many refugee arrivals, but we left it to Spain and others at the external borders to deal with," Merkel said.

"After the many refugees we took in during the Yugoslav Wars, Germany was quite happy that it was mainly up to others to manage the issue," she added.

The interview was published one year after Merkel coined the famous phrase "we can do it" in relation to the refugee crisis.

Germany took in 1.1 million refugees in 2015. Many of them arrived in the wake of Merkel's promise of sanctuary to those fleeing the war in Syria.

"Germany will remain Germany, with everything that is dear to us," Merkel told the newspaper.

In depth coverage

Half of Germans oppose a fourth term for Angela Merkel

Half of Germans do not want Angela Merkel to serve another term as chancellor, a survey published Sunday has found.

Read more
Last update: Sun, 28/08/2016 - 20:14
Last update: Wed, 31/08/2016 - 09:32
Author: 

More from Europe

Armed robbery at Paris travel agency ends without casualties

An armed robbery on Friday at a Paris travel agency has ended without casualties.

Iceland president asks Pirate Party to attempt to form government

Iceland's president on Friday gave the leader of the anti-establishment Pirate Party the task of forming the next...

Italy referendum campaign ends amid claims of postal vote fraud

Italy's political leaders entered their final hours of campaigning on Friday in a constitutional referendum whose...

Gate stolen from former Nazi concentration camp "found" in Norway

German police are investigating whether a gate bearing the sign "Arbeit macht frei" (work sets you free) that was...

Germany pledges additional 50 million euros in aid as Aleppo crumbles

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier pledged 50 million euros (53.2 million dollars) in aid to the war-...