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German Chancellor Angela Merkel briefs the media after a visit to Germany's Joint Terrorism Defense Center GATZ, Berlin, April 26, 2016 (AP photo by Markus Schreiber).

Can Germany’s Merkel Contain the Domestic Backlash Against Her Refugee Policy?

Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016

Terrorist attacks and other violence this summer have put Germany on edge and worsened political tensions over Berlin’s handling of the refugee crisis. One week in July saw four attacks in multiple German cities, killing a total of 10 people; three were committed by men who had entered the country as asylum-seekers. Even before this violence, public sentiment toward refugees and migrants had soured after reports of widespread sexual assaults and other crimes that took place on New Year’s Eve in the German city of Cologne, perceived as being linked to the influx of refugees.

In early August, the government proposed a series of measures to combat terrorism, many of which center on heightened surveillance. The security package reflects a shift in Germany’s sense of security, tied to popular frustration with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s defense of her decision to accept over 1 million refugees in 2015. ...

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