- Title: Germany's Merkel possible contender for 2019 Nobel Peace Prize
- Date: 28th September 2019
- Summary: BAYREUTH, GERMANY (FILE - JULY 25, 2013) (REUTERS) ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** MERKEL ARRIVING FOR WAGNER OPERA FESTIVAL WITH HER HUSBAND JOACHIM SAUER (pron.: SOUR)
- Embargoed: 12th October 2019 00:59
- Keywords: German Chancellor Angela Merkel Nobel Peace Prize contender possible winner migrant influx 2015 refugees
- Location: BIARRITZ, FRANCE / BERLIN & HAMBURG & PASSAU & BAYREUTH & BONN, GERMANY
- City: BIARRITZ, FRANCE / BERLIN & HAMBURG & PASSAU & BAYREUTH & BONN, GERMANY
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Asylum/Immigration/Refugees,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00BAXWIKHZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL
For the fifth year running, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been tipped as a possible winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for her refugee policy.
The 65-year-old Christian Democrat was widely praised for her open-door policy on migrants as Europe faced an influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees, mostly fleeing conflicts in the Middle East.
Merkel threw open Germany's borders in September 2015, allowing thousands of people stranded in Hungary to enter Germany.
Pictures of refugees arriving in Germany by train and on foot in their thousands were applauded as an example of compassion and humanity in the face of Europe's biggest migrant crisis since World War Two.
But the influx led to a political backlash.
Merkel faced sharp criticism from her Christian Democratic Union's (CDU) Bavarian sister party, the CSU and in particular from then Bavarian state premier, Horst Seehofer who is now Merkel's interior minister.
The chancellor refused to back down and impose limits on the number of refugees allowed to enter Germany, adopting the mantra "we can do this".
By the end of 2015, over a million asylum seekers had arrived in the country, many of them from war-torn Syria.
Instead of imposing a cap on the number of refugees, Merkel pushed for an EU-Turkey pact to cut the migrant flow to Europe and also pressed for quicker deportations of those whose asylum applications were denied.
Under the agreement, anyone crossing to Greece from Turkey who does not qualify for asylum must be sent back and for every Syrian refugee being returned to Turkey from the Greek islands, another will be resettled to the EU.
(Production: Michele Sani)
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