Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel was a popular and respected leader, abroad as well as at home, but her management of the European migrant crisis is questioning that.
In a poll published by Focus magazine on Friday, 40 percent of Germans want Merkel to resign over her handling of the migrant crisis.
Another 45.2 percent thought Merkel’s refugee policy was not a reason for her to resign, reported Reuters. The other 15 percent didn’t have an opinion. The Insa poll surveyed 2,047 German citizens over Jan. 22 – 25.
Other polls show increasing disenchantment with Merkel and her Christian Democratic Union party.
Merkel has been under growing pressure over her controversial open door policy which led to 1.1 million migrants arriving in Germany last year. Around 3 to 4 thousand migrants continue to arrive daily in wintery southern Germany, and the concern is once spring arrives those numbers will double.
The reports of sexual assaults in Cologne and other cities on New Year’s Eve allegedly by migrants against local women have shifted the debate and large chunks of public sentiment.
Following the sexual assaults, gas pistols, pepper spray, and other items used in self-defense are in high demand in Germany. Watch this BBC News report on changing German attitudes:
Members of her own party, and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union have also voiced their concerns.
The German leader has also been criticized by other EU countries for her position on migration.
But Merkel has shown no signs on backing down on her policy, insisting Germany and a unified European Union can find a solution. She did though, a day before the poll results were released, formulate an agreement with her restless left-right coalition to tighten up asylum policies by making it easier return some North African migrants, and by delaying family reunifications, reported AFP.
Germany is a preferred destination for many people fleeing conflict or economic hardship in the Middle East and Africa.
Watch this report from BBC Newsnight on how Merkel is under pressure over her policy on migrants: